Psoriasis vs Eczema

Psoriasis and eczema are very common skin-related diseases, they affect a large proportion of people worldwide. Looking to their symptoms and characteristics, they are almost similar and hardly to be differentiated. Many people easily confused between psoriasis and eczema when they just look at the skin appearance. Even though the diseases are almost identical in terms of appearance, in fact they are significantly different when it comes to causes and treatment approaches.

Psoriasis vs Eczema: The Similarities

Before going further to differentiate between psoriasis and eczema, it is better if we first analyze their similarities. By doing this, we can specifically identify both diseases and differentiate them from other skin diseases. In other words, this can aid us to be more focus on both diseases.

Patches - Rough red patches are common manifestations of both diseases which indicate affected skin areas.
Flaking - Patients of both conditions commonly will notice that flaky, dry and rough areas grow on some areas on the surface of their skin.
Rashes - Rashes are the most common characteristics of both psoriasis and eczema. These are usually develop together with reddish and irritating outbreaks on the skin surface.

Psoriasis vs Eczema: The Differences

Even though psoriasis and eczema are almost identical in terms of their signs and symptoms, but still there are differences between them.

1. Silvery appearance
Physically, due to imbalance of chemicals in the body, psoriasis usually occur as silver-colored skin that can easily peeled and form into flakes. In contrast, eczema does not necessarily have silvery appearance even though it may have the same crusty or scal patches as seen in psoriasis.

2. Underlying causes
Researchers believed that psoriasis develops due to disturbances in immune system which lead to the abnormal development of lymphocytes, a type of immune system cells. This is not the case in eczema, which is said to be triggered by allergic reactions due to the presence of allergens such as dust, dirts, and chemicals.

3. Age of patients
Psoriasis and eczema can be differentiated in terms of the prevalence rate among age of patients. Psoriasis patients are usually among adults, while eczema is commonly observed among children. However, this statement does not deny the fact that both conditions can be experienced at any age.

Psoriasis vs Eczema: Cure for Psoriasis and Eczema

Due to the fact that psoriasis and eczema have different underlying causes, it is apprehended if both conditions require different medical treatment approaches. For psoriasis, the itchiness can be relieved by using topical creams that can be purchased as over-the-counter products. Besides, together with photo-therapy or exposure to UVB light, psoriasis patients are encouraged to regularly apply moisturizers especially those containing natural ingredients such as aloe vera and jojoba. In severe psoriasis conditions, the use of oral retinoid like soriatane may be needed to improve the quality of life of the patients.

On the other hand, treatments for eczema are usually with anti-histamines, anti-inflammatory creams and some home remedies that are often oil-based.

This article is intended to provide only surface facts regarding psoriasis and eczema for you. It does not intended to replace any medical professional advices. If you suspect you may have either of the conditions, it is better if you first consult doctors to confirmly verify the diagnosis so that the correct treatment approaches can be selected.


Diet for Psoriasis Patients

Having healthy diet for psoriasis patients is vital for the treatment and cure of the disease. Improper diet can lead to ingestion of food containing toxins which can cause organic imbalance and further worsen the unhealthy skin condition. Nutritionists suggest that psoriasis patients should take natural diet especially those foods that are rich with antioxidant properties as they are able to neutralize accumulated toxins in the body. Apart from that, it is recommended to reduce certain types of food which can cause intestinal imbalance that will worsen or trigger the onset of psoriasis.

Healthy Diet for Psoriasis Patients

1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A
Vitamin A is well known as a beneficial diet for psoriasis patients. Those foods rich with vitamin A can help to prevent and improve the symptoms of psoriasis. Vegetables that are red, orange or yellow are said to have high content of carotenoids which will be converted into vitamin A by the body. Such examples include carrots, watercress, tomatoes, asparagus, coriander and squash. Apart from the vegetables, animal-source foods like liver, egg yolk, fish (especially blue fish) and butter are also recommended as source of vitamin A.

2. Omega-3 fatty acid
Foods that contain this kind of nutrient has anti-inflammatory action which is good for alleviating symptoms of psoriasis. Furthermore, they are also rich in vitamin D. Psoriasis patients usually have difficulties to naturally produce vitamin D, thus consuming foods that are rich with omega-3 and vitamin D could benefit them. Cold-water or blue fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon and herrings are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. 

3. Selenium
Selenium helps to maintain the elasticity of the skin and prevents the negative effects due to oxidation. Therefore, it can be a healthy diet for psoriasis patients. Squash, barley, grapes, garlic, oats, peaches, corn and soybean are foods that are rich in selenium.

4. Zinc
Psoriasis patients usually have problem to retain zinc in their body, thus taking supplementary of this nutrient is encouraged. Zinc can help to eliminate dandruff and therefore it is good to help alleviating psoriasis of the scalp. Foods rich in zinc are celery, asparagus, potatoes, peanuts, eggplant, sunflower and grains. For non-vegetarians, seafood contains a very high amount of zinc.

5. Vitamin C
Similar to vitamin A, vitamin C is also a good antioxidant which can help to alleviate psoriasis. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits are good sources of this type of vitamin and they are highly recommended as diet for psoriasis patients.

6. Water
Psoriasis patients are encouraged to drink plenty of water, at least 6-8 glasses per day. Drinking a lot of water helps to keep the skin hydrated, prevents dry skin and reduces itchiness.

Non-Healthy Diet for Psoriasis Patients

1. Meat, milk and fats
Psoriasis patients have higher risk of getting heart disease compared to normal people. Thus, they are not encouraged to eat foods which have high fat content. Furthermore, these kind of foods has arachidonic acid, which can trigger inflammation reactions and worsen the symptoms of psoriasis. Psoriasis patients are recommended to eat low-fat diet together with a moderate protein intake. Chicken and turkey have lower content of fat compared to beef or lamb. If you want to have chicken or turkey, please make sure to do not eat them with their skin on, as the skin contains high fat level.

2. Alcohol and caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine should be avoided in diet for psoriasis patients since they can cause dehydration and worsen the symptoms of psoriasis. Both drinks also can increase the risk of heart disease among psoriasis patients. Furthermore, alcohol can increase blood flow to the skin which may lead to increased redness and itchiness.

3. Fast food
Fast food such as burger, fries, cakes and chocolate should not be in the diet for psoriasis patients due to the fact that they contain high fat and cholesterol. Eating such foods will cause the patients to gain weight, which will make psoriasis be more difficult to be treated. In addition, high intake of fat and cholesterol can put psoriasis patients at higher risk of getting heart disease. Thus, fats and cholesterol should be limited to the minimum level only.

4. Spices
They increase blood flow to the skin, so they are not encouraged as diet for psoriasis patients.

5. Tobacco
Tobacco is toxic, so they should be avoided by psoriasis patients.

This article only provides a little insights regarding healthy diet for psoriasis patients. If you try this kind of diet, you may see some good results. If you want some more effective tips and methods to take care of your psoriasis problems, kindly click the link below.


Is Psoriasis Contagious?

When it is regarding health, most people absolutely want to protect their loved ones from suffering the same condition. For psoriasis patients, being diagnosed with the disease can be traumatizing, and when thinking that it maybe transmitted to the surrounding people, it can add up the stress. Those patients may wonder, is psoriasis contagious? Before answering this question, it is vital to understand what psoriasis is all about.

What is psoriasis and is it contagious?
As one of the most chronic skin diseases which affects a large number of people and causes bad surface symptoms, it is normal when many people questioning whether psoriasis is contagious or not. Looking the skin of psoriasis patients, with the lesions and scales, many people think that psoriasis is contagious. This stigma causes patients with psoriasis to feel depressed and being isolated. In fact, psoriasis is not contagious as it is not caused by bacteria, virus or fungi, instead it is due to disturbance in individual's immune system.

Is psoriasis contagious?
In normal people, the body regularly produces new skin cells which moves upward. Skin cells have high growth rate, their life span is almost thirty days. Thus, the old skin cells on the top surface are expected to die off and and gradually shed off, so that the new cells beneath the skin surface can replace them.

However, in psoriasis patients, this normal cycle does not occur. Due to abnormal immune system, which can be triggered by alcoholism, improper diet, smoking and insufficient vitamin D, the newly formed skin cells are rapidly developed and pushed upward to the surface. In the other hand, the old skin cells on the surface do not have enough time to shed off. Thus, this causes a pile up of the cells which can be characterized by flaky, white and dry areas. These areas are actually known as psoriasis.

In conclusion, based on its pathophysiological course, psoriasis is not a contagious disease. Since it is an autoimmune disease, it cannot be transmitted from one person to other like bacterial or viral infections. This fact should remove the stigma on psoriasis patients, they should not be abandoned nor be humiliated. Instead, they should be helped to find effective ways to reduce the burden of the disease. The most important thing is, people should understand the disease. Last but not least, if you are asked, "Is psoriasis contagious?", you can confidently answer that it is not.


Psoriasis Natural Treatment-Mother Nature

Herbal remedies from mother nature also can serve as great psoriasis natural treatment options. If you are interested to take any herbal remedies for your psoriasis, it is good if you discuss with your doctors first. This is to avoid any possible dangerous interactions that may occur with your medications. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, taking herbs for psoriasis is not encouraged. This is the same if you are having pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or mood disorders. Immediately stop using herbal remedies and inform your doctors if you feel any unpleasant side effects.

Here are some parts of mother nature that are good as psoriasis natural treatment options:

1. Turmeric
Due to its antiinflammatory and antioxidant abilities, turmeric is considered as one of the best psoriasis natural treatments. Studies showed that these abilities are contributed by curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. Apart from that, the ingredient also has the ability to alter TNF cytokine gene expression, which contribute to reduced psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis flares. To get the benefits, you can take it directly in form of concentrated pill or supplement, or indirectly in form of powder added to your food. FDA suggests 1.5 to 3.0 grams of turmeric per day to be effective, but it is better if you get advices from a naturopathic practitioner.

2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera
Gel extracted from the aloe plant is believed to help reduce redness and scaling associated with psoriasis. It is recommended to apply the gel onto skin up to three times daily. Alternatively, you can search for creams containing 0.5% aloe. Be remember to do not consume aloe in tablet form, as it has no benefit and may cause dangerous unwanted effects.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people claim that apple cider vinegar can help to relieve scalp itch due to psoriasis. You can apply the liquid directly onto your scalp several times a week. You can dilute the vinegar with water on a one-to-one ratio; this can reduce burning sensation associated with the vinegar. Or you can rinse the skin once the solution has dried in order to prevent the uncomfortable sensation. If applied properly, this cheap remedy may give positive results within a few weeks. As a precaution reminder, please do not use this remedy if your scalp skin is cracked, bleeding or has open wounds as it will only irritate your skin and cause a burning sensation.

4. Capsaicin
Capsaicin is the ingredient responsible for hot sensation in chili peppers. A study from the University of Medical Center Freiburg, Germany found that applying OTC creams containing capsaicin can reduce pain, inflammation, redness and scaling which are the symptoms of psoriasis. This positive effect of capsaicin is believed due to its ability to block nerve transmission of pain. However, more studies are required to evaluate its long-term effectiveness and safety.

5. Dead Sea Salts
One of the most frequently suggested psoriasis natural treatment remedies is Dead Sea salt, or Epsom salt. If you have this salt, you can pour it into bath water and soak in the tub for at least 15 minutes. If regularly done, this can aid in removing lesions and reducing itching. After you get out of the tub, please be remember to apply moisturizer as soon as possible.

6. Oats
Oats are famously known as the best natural skin soothers. Even though there is no medical studies to support the use of oats as psoriasis reliever, however many patients claim that applying an oat paste or taking a bath in oats can help to sooth their itchiness and reduce redness.

7. Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil
Extracted from the leaves of a plant found in native of Australia, tea tree oil is believed to have antiseptic properties which means it can be applied to the skin. Many people claim that using shampoo containing tea tree oil can help to relieve from scalp psoriasis. If you are interested to use the herbal remedy, please be cautious as some people may develop allergic reactions towards it.

These are some herbal remedies that can serve as psoriasis natural treatments. Herbal remedies are safe and effective if you choose correctly and use them properly. If you want to have more tips and systematic guidelines regarding psoriasis natural treatment, kindly click here.


Psoriasis Natural Treatment-Home Remedies

If you are a psoriasis patient, it is vital to make sure the affected skin areas are clean so that to avoid infection. This action also can help to reduce itching and other symptoms of psoriasis. In order to achieve this, you are encouraged to make these psoriasis natural treatment home remedies as your daily habit:

1. Rehydrate your skin
Psoriasis skin areas are usually dry and thick which can easily crack, bleed and become infected. Thus, proper skin rehydration through bathing, swimming or soaking in a tub is needed to soften and remove thick scales without disrupting the skin structure. Removing the scales can help medications and ultraviolet light to act more efficiently on your skin as there is no more thick barrier that impedes them. Proper rehydration can reduce itching and redness of lesions. It also can help maintain flexibility (dried plaques can make moving certain parts of the body difficult) and make plaque scales less noticeable.

For proper rehydration, it is advisable to use moderately warm water instead of hot water as the later may increase itching. It is also important to avoid too frequent wetting and drying, as this would cause over-drying which can disrupt the skin's oil, the natural moisture protector. Therefore, do plan your bathing or soaking properly. Besides, you can apply moisturizers or emollients after your rehydration session in order to avoid over-drying.

2. Apply moisturizers regularly
Similar to bathing and soaking, using moisturizers or emollients also can help to keep your skin from drying out. Most moisturizers are able to lock water into the skin and thus maintain moisture. You can use thick moisturizer products such as Eucerin, Aquaphor, and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream as they are all proven to be effective. Alternatively, you can apply inexpensive ingredients like lactic acid, cooking oils, lard or petroleum jelly; they provide equally firm protection. To get optimum benefits from moisturizers, it is advisable to apply them right after you step out of a bath or shower. This will help your body hold onto natural oils and water.

3. Switch on humidifier
How can humidifier act as psoriasis natural treatment home remedies? Let me answer it for you. For your information, dry indoor air can exaggerate dry skin, which then may worsen psoriasis. To avoid this, you can use humidifier to raise the humidity, thus avoid excessive drying out. In other words, using humidifier can aid skin to maintain skin moisture and reduce symptoms of psoriasis especially redness and itchiness. Simple answer, is it.

4. Check you medications
If you are on multiple medications, you may have to review them back. Some medications such as anti-malarials, beta blockers for hypertension and lithium for depression are believed to worsen psoriasis. If you are having other health problems apart from psoriasis, make sure your doctors know about your skin condition and what medications you are taking. If you feel any of your medications appear to aggravate your psoriasis, you have to consult doctors for suggestions to reduce dose or change to other drugs.

5. Choose soap carefully
Using mild soap is more favorable than harsh soap, as the later can dry your skin and cause more irritation and itchiness. Mild, super-fatted soaps like Basis, Alpha Keri, Purpose, Nivea Cream Bar and Oilatum should be the main choices as they contain moisturizers. If your skin is very dry and irritated, you can choose soap-free cleansers such as Lowilla Cake, Aveeno Cleansing Bar, or pHisoDerm Dry Skin Formula. Ask your pharmacists or doctors if you are not sure which one is the best for you. Please be remember to rinse off well and immediately apply moisturizers after bathing or soaking with you chosen soap.

6. Use skin products carefully
Due to psoriasis, skin usually becomes abnormally sensitive to irritating chemicals. Thus, if you want to use hair dyes, perms, or straighteners, use them cautiously. Make sure to apply the skin products on areas that are free from lesions and open wounds. Irritants in skin products may cause psoriasis exacerbation if used uncautiously.

7. Avoid injuring the skin
Sunburn, scratches, and irritation from tight clothing; all these mild injuries can trigger or exaggerate your psoriasis. These may give rise to Koebner phenomenon. Thus, please minimize activities that may cause injuries to your skin.

8. Take off your weight
If you are overweight, it is better if you attempt to slim down. Being overweight makes psoriasis more uncomfortable and harder to control. Psoriasis lesions may develop at your folded skin.

All of these psoriasis natural treatment home remedies are simple to apply and may help to make living with psoriasis easier. With your doctor's approval, try some or all of them to create a self-care regimen that works for you. If you want to have more tips and systematic guidelines regarding psoriasis natural treatment, kindly click here.


Psoriasis Natural Treatment-Alternative Cures for Psoriasis

Traditional treatments maybe not effective to treat a stubbornly resistant psoriasis. Using medical treatments can be effective, however potential side effects may outweigh the therapeutic effects. Due to these facts, psoriasis natural treatment options can be one of the many choices of cure for psoriasis.

In recent years, a lot of interest has grown in searching alternative natural treatments for psoriasis. Few studies on alternative psoriasis natural treatments have been done to support the use of the options as cure for psoriasis. This is different with traditional treatments, which only small number of studies are available as evidences. One thing for you to set in mind, if you find an alternative treatment that is working to cure your psoriasis, with absent of significant side effects, that might be the only evidence you need.

1. Sunlight
One of the best alternative psoriasis natural treatment is the sunlight. Improvement in symptoms of psoriasis has been seen in almost 80% of patients who regularly get this alternative treatment. However, it is important to avoid excessive sunburn, as this may aggravate your psoriasis. Applying sunscreen with SPF 30 on unaffected areas is good to protect against both UVA and UVB rays and thus avoid excessive sunburn. Be remember to protect your eyes by wearing proper sunglasses.

2. Alternative Topicals
Using alternative topicals from mother nature may serve as an effective cure for psoriasis. The most popular is aloe vera which is believed to have soothing and cooling effects, and thus may improve symptoms of psoriasis, eventhough there is no strong data to back up this. Another one is tea tree oil, which is popularly used as scalp psoriasis treatment. Oat extracts are also frequently used, they may alleviate itching and comfort the skin. In fact, many skin-care products contain oat extracts as main ingredients. Apart from direct rubbing on the skin, you also can use oat extracts for bathing.

3. Diet and Supplements
Some patients believe that certain foods may worsen their psoriasis, and certain may alleviate the symptoms. It is difficult to prove that any foods may serve as alternative psoriasis natural treatment, as not much research has been done. However, some experts encourage to hold to the statements that diets are able to cure psoriasis and they even promote diet change for psoriasis patients. If you tend to try with diet change, uphold to your effort. You can eliminate or add any type of foods, but be sure to have a nutritious and variety diet.

Some foods that are claimed to impart good effects on psoriasis include fish oil, evening primrose oil, milk thistle, vitamin D and oregano oil. Recently, many people also claim that shark cartilage extract has benefits as a cure for psoriasis. However, still, there is no study to support this claim.

4. Dead Sea
Everyone knows about Dead Sea in Israel, which has the highest concentration of salt in the world; it is 10 times that of the ocean. Add to this, it also has a unique climate which allows visitors to have long periods of sunbathing without getting sunburn. Because of these two unique features, the Dead Sea has become a favorite psoriasis natural treatment destination. This fact may sound irrelevant, but studies showed that about 80-90% psoriasis patients who had treatment at Dead Sea saw improvement, with only 1% worsening. Almost 50% of them accomplished total cure for a duration of at least 3 months.

5. Stress Management
Psoriasis may be triggered or made worsen by stress. Furthermore, due to their skin conditions, many psoriasis patients have low self-esteem and this put them in a stressful condition. Therefore, stress management can serve as an alternative psoriasis natural treatment. You may involve in one of these activities to control your stress better:

Meditation - This is an intentional and self-regulated focusing of attention on a thought and phrase, which helps patients to calm and relax both body and mind. However, only a small number of studies support use of meditation to improve symptoms of psoriasis.
Yoga - It has been recognized as one of the popular activities to reduce stress. Originated from India, it may help to relax your body and soul. It is worth trying as an alternative cure for psoriasis.
Massage - Everybody loves massage. It is a very effective way to be calm and control stress. Get it for at least once per month, and you may see some positive results.

Eventhough these kind of activities cannot totally replace medicines as cure for psoriasis, but it can help patients to comply with their treatments.

In using alternative psoriasis natural treatment, you have to remember that FDA does not regulate the alternatives as closely as medications. It is up to you whether to try or not these alternative treatments. Different options and different people may have different results. If an alternative therapy is working for you, it means you have found a special tool to help you live with the condition. If you want to have more tips and systematic guidelines for psoriasis natural treatment, kindly click here.


Psoriasis Natural Treatment-Self Care Tips

Psoriasis natural treatment-it is a term to describe use of non-conventional medications to alleviate symptoms of psoriasis. It is undeniable that conventional medications which comprise of topical, systemic and physical treatments are the best options serve as cure for psoriasis. However, there are a pile of simple and natural ways too, even you can try these psoriasis natural treatment tips at home to deal with your psoriasis.

1. Moisturize your skin
Dry skin can increase irritation and itchiness felt by psoriasis patients, resulting in scratching which causes more psoriasis patches to grow on the irritated skin. Thus, it is vital to keep your skin moist to avoid this vicious cycle. But, how to maintain the moisture? It is actually simple. After getting shower, pat and dry yourself, then instantly cover your skin with either thick ointments such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or heavy skin creams whichever you can find; ointments are better than creams to keep moisture.

You can use bandage or plastic wrap to add up the moisturizing effect. Before going to sleep, you can apply ointment or cream over the affected areas, wrap them for overnight, and then rinse the areas gently in the morning. If done regularly, this can help to reduce scaling.

2. Get proper bathing
It is important for psoriasis patients to get proper bathing, not too much and not too little, as these can make the skin becomes dry. Besides, use of hot water must be avoided, instead use lukewarm water. Hot water can make the skin dry and irritate more. Pure water also may dry the skin, thus adding bathing salts, oil or oilated oatmeal is recommended so that it becomes more skin-friendly. After bathing, it is encouraged to pat the skin dry and immediately put on ointment or cream to keep it moisturized.

3. Get some sun
Light exposure to sunlight especially in the morning and evening is one of the best psoriasis natural treatment options. This is because the sun emits ultraviolet rays which have been proven as a good cure for psoriasis. However, excessive sunburns must be avoided as this can worsen your psoriasis symptoms. It is good to cover unaffected skin with SPF 30 sunscreen and start with minor sun exposure for at least twenty minutes per day for three days a week. If you are on any psoriasis medications, please consult with your doctor first, as certain medications are deteriorated by excessive sun exposure.

4. Stop smoking
Smoking can exacerbate symptoms of many diseases, and psoriasis is one of them. One study showed that individuals who had more than a pack of cigarette per day had twice higher chance to get severe psoriasis compared to those who smoked half a pack or less. This bad effect was seen stronger in women compared to men. Many experts believe that quitting smoking can contribute to the well-being of psoriasis patients. Apart from that, this simple action also reduces the risk of many complications such as heart disease, lung disease and cancer.

5. Reduce alcohol intake
Studies showed that people who addicted to alcohol had more tendency to develop psoriasis compared to those who were not. Men’s psoriasis may be affected more by drinking than women’s. Even though there is no study to support that alcohol intake reduction can improve symptoms of psoriasis, but it will at least improve overall health. It is recommended to limit the alcohol for only two drinks per day in men and one drink per day in women; less is better.

6. Change your diet
Generally, there is no solid relationship between any food and psoriasis, but some people claim that their psoriasis symptoms show improvement after reducing on certain foods like sugar, white flour, gluten and caffeine. Besides, many dermatologists believe that maintaining an ideal body weight is one of the keys for psoriasis natural treatment. Therefore, it is good for patients to try eliminating certain less-nutritious foods and see if there is any improvement in their psoriasis conditions. And it is always thoughtful to maintain an optimum weight by having a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly.

7. Take care your mental health
Taking care of your mental health is one of psoriasis natural treatment tips. This is a very important aspect but always being overlooked. Due to their skin conditions, psoriasis patients often feel humiliated. Patients usually isolate themselves, feel lonely, anxious and have low self-esteem. Due to embarrassment or physical soreness, most moderate and severe psoriasis patients change their daily routine or give up things they like.

It is important to seek for help if you feel that your psoriasis is affecting your mental health. Consulting someone expert like psychologist or clinical worker can help you to cope with psoriasis' effect on your life. Besides, you can join any support groups for psoriasis. Speaking with others who experiencing the same challenges can really help.


Five Main Types of Psoriasis

How many types of psoriasis that you have heard? Even you are common with psoriasis, but you may not know that there are actually five different types of psoriasis. A psoriasis patient may have multiple types of psoriasis simultaneously, or may initially with symptoms of one type only which then over time develop symptoms of other types. The five different types of psoriasis are similar in certain features in which they are believed to originate due to disturbance of natural immune system and have tendency to be genetically inherited in families. However, they also have unique features that differentiate among them.

The five types of psoriasis are:

1. Plaque psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most familiar type of psoriasis, about 80-90% of psoriasis patients are of this type. Patients usually have patches or plaques that are tender and appear as thick, red, swollen, inflamed and covered with a crusty silver scale. Patients may suffer from itchiness due to presence of the plaques. These plaques are typically seen on knees, elbows, scalp, or trunk, although they can appear anywhere on the body skin area. Plaques, once develop and grow, may remain on the skin for a period of many years.

2. Guttate psoriasis
In this type of psoriasis, one can see a presence of small, light pink or red, drop-like spots scattered especially on the trunk, limbs and/or scalp, and it is usually triggered by strep infection of throat. Skin injury, respiratory tract infection, stress and certain medications like anti-malaria and beta-blockers also can contribute to this type of psoriasis. Persons less than 30 years old are the common patients that fall under this type. Even though the symptoms of guttate psoriasis typically occur as a one-time episode, but sometimes they may reappear especially after another respiratory infections.

3. Pustular psoriasis
As its name implies, pustular psoriasis is commonly characterized by the red, tender and yellowish or whitish pus-filled blisters. In most cases, this type of psoriasis only affects the hand and soles of the feet. But, some affected patients may have the blisters on many areas throughout the body. In uncontrolled event, pustular-psoriasis patients may develop von Zumbusch-type psoriasis in which they develop systemic symptoms such as fever, chills, weight loss, nausea, headache, fatigue and joints pain.

A phenomenon known as acrodermatitis continua may develop in some pustular-psoriasis patients. This phenomenon occurs when pus of the blisters accumulates beneath the fingernails and displacing them from their original location. Similar to guttate psoriasis, pustular psoriasis can also be induced by a reaction to medications, chemicals, stress or infections. Most commonly affected are adults, even though there are rare cases involving children. Symptoms of pustular psoriasis can be acute for short-period of time, or develop to a chronic, long-term condition.

4. Inverse psoriasis
Differ to other types of psoriasis which typically cause scaly of skin, inverse psoriasis instead produces smooth red and swollen areas. The patches usually grow in the folds like of the underarms, under the breast, navel, groin and buttocks. Because of their tendency to grow in warm, damp areas, there is a high possibility of complications caused by yeast or fungi infection. The symptoms may be worsen due to sweating and rubbing. Overweight individuals are at the higher chance to develop this type of psoriasis compared to skinnier persons.

5. Erythrodermic psoriasis

Although erythrodermic psoriasis is the least common type of psoriasis, but it can develop very serious complications. Its inflamed, red, swollen, peeling skin symptoms are widespread, affecting large areas of skin and in some cases the whole body. The affected areas can cause extreme itchiness and severe burn to patients. This widespread inflammation triggers the body to counteract by increasing the blood flow to the affected areas. Since the areas to cover are very large, this forces the heart to pump harder and become strained with the extra work involved. In long term, the pumping function of the heart may be weakened and patients may develop chronic heart failure. Patients affected with erythrodermic psoriasis are at higher risk to get infection, fever and dehydration which may need hospitalization. Common triggers of this type of psoriasis include medications, especially steroids, undertreated psoriasis or excessive sunburn.

Like been told in the first paragraph, a psoriasis patient may have multiple types of psoriasis simultaneously, or develop each type over the period of time. It is in fact important to know and accurately identify the forms of psoriasis you have, so that the treatment given can be effective to alleviate the symptoms.


What Does Psoriasis Look Like?

One might wonder, what does psoriasis look like? What are the signs and symptoms of psoriasis? In order to identify psoriasis, it is vital to look for characteristic skin changes which in many cases appear significantly at specific parts of body. It is common to see skin thickening, scaling and redness in psoriasis skin. Plus, these signs and symptoms of psoriasis do not affect only skin, but also nails, scalp and joints. Thus, to identify psoriasis signs and symptoms, we can split those based on features and locations.

What Does Psoriasis Look Like: Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis Based on Features

1. Skin Plaques
Skin Plaques
Psoriasis vulgaris, or plaque-type psoriasis, is one of the most common types of psoriasis identified among patients. This type of psoriasis has three hallmarks; skin thickening, scaling and redness. The plaques vary from barely perceptible to several millimeters in terms of thickness. They appear in different colors from a faint pink to deep beefy red. However, the plaques are less redness but more darkened in patients with darker skin color. Apart from plaques, most patients may also develop scales which can range from almost invisible to thick adherent plates known as ostraceous scales which appear like oyster-shell.

2. Auspitz's Sign
Auspitz's Sign
Auspitz's sign is a pinpoint bleeding that may appear when adherent scales are scraped or picked off. This sign appears due to exposure of the tops of tiny blood capillaries which pass in a wavy pattern vertically throughout the thickened psoriasis skin.

3. Koebner Phenomenon
When a fresh area of psoriasis grows in injured skin, an isomorphic response known as Koebner phenomenon or Koebnerization takes place. In other words, this phenomenon refers to the growth of psoriasis lesions at the site of injury. It can be induced due to non-traumatic skin injury such as sunburn, rubbing, bites and mechanical pressure. Duration of time between injury and lesion growth varies from a day to several weeks. Koebnerization can occur in a majority of psoriasis patients, but it is not a unique characteristic for psoriasis only.

4. Guttate, Pustular and Erythrodermic Psoriasis
These three types of psoriasis are the less common occur among patients, and they are significantly contrast from typical plaque-type psoriasis. Guttate-type psoriasis is characterized by presence of small, tiny, drop-like papules which are scattered throughout the skin. In contrast, pustular-type psoriasis is identified by appearance of pus-filled, yellowish, small blisters that can grow in smaller areas or involves most of the body. In the third type, erythrodermic psoriasis, the psoriasis lesions cause the entire body to appear bright red and scaly, and skin biopsy is needed to differentiate it from other skin diseases.

What Does Psoriasis Look Like: Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis Based on Locations

1. Typical Locations
Typical Locations
Scalp, knees, elbow, genitals, belly button and buttocks area are typical locations where plaque-type psoriasis develops. In moist areas such as in the groin, under breasts or armpits, scales may appear wet and pasty. Besides, the lesions may grow into a damp, flat, red patches almost similar to yeast or fungal infections. On the scalp, one may see a severe form of dandruff-like flaking and scaling with red areas of skin.

2. Hand and Foot Lesions
It is either plaque-like lesions, as seen on other skin areas, or pustular-blisters filled with pus that are typically seen on the hands or feet of psoriasis patients. Even though the appearance of pustules is commonly associated with infections, but in psoriasis, they grow as a part of inflammatory reaction. On the palms or soles, presence of very thick and inflexible plaques can be identified. These plaques cause movement restriction and may crack when applied force. These can result in growth of fissures which can be painful and sometimes easily become infected. On foot, severe lesions can limit the ability of patients to walk, which then may end up in disability.

3. Finger and Toenails
Psoriasis of Finger
Psoriasis patients usually have thickened, lifted and pitted nails. As a unique feature of psoriasis, a large yellowish brown "oil spotting" may appear on nails. This is actually a darkened spot on almost transparent nail, resembling to the effect of a drop of oil on a piece of paper. Treatment for nail psoriasis can be difficult.

4. Joints (Psoriasis Arthritis)
When psoriasis affects joints, it is known as psoriasis arthritis. Psoriasis arthritis is an inflammatory, destructible form of arthritis and may appear in 10-30% of moderate to severe psoriasis patients. X-ray findings or blood tests are usually needed to differentiate the disease from other types of arthritis.

Different patients may have different signs and symptoms of psoriasis, based on the features and locations. Identifying psoriasis signs and symptoms can help in any further interventions to overcome the disease. For further understanding the disease, click here.


What Is Psoriasis? What Are The Symptoms of Psoriasis? What Causes Psoriasis?

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin condition characterized by red, itchy patches and thick, silvery scales. The main cause is suspected contributed due to autoimmunity, and patients usually experience alternating periods of flares and remissions. Some patients may have light symptoms which cause only annoying disturbances, while others may develop more severe symptoms that can limit movements.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

One of the most common symptoms of psoriasis is the existence of one or more small patches of thick skin on the elbow, knees or back regions. Even though the affected regions are not painful, but their visibility is often embarrassing. This might impose great psychological effects onto patients; disrupted social interactions and diminished self-confidence are usually seen in affected patients.

In fact, there are five main types of psoriasis, each of which characterized by different symptoms:

1. Erythrodermic psoriasis: Intense red, peeling rash affecting a large area of the body
2. Guttate psoriasis: Small, reddish pink sores or spots on the trunk, arms, legs, and/or scalp
3. Inverse psoriasis: Smooth patches of redness and irritation on the skin of the armpits and groin
4. Plaque psoriasis: Thick, red patches of skin covered with silvery white skin; this is the most common types of psoriasis
5. Pustular psoriasis: Blisters circled by irritated skin; may also develop fever, chills and fatigue.  

Apart from these five main types of psoriasis, there is also psoriasis arthritis, where it affects the joints of hands, knees and ankles resulting in pitted, discolored nails and swollen, painful joints.

What causes psoriasis?

Many researchers and physicians believe that psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder; the body's immune system does not 'recognize' normal skin cells, and thus attacking them. The affected skin cells then form, grow and build-up underneath the skin, which then rise to the surface over a certain periods of time. In psoriasis, the new-affected cells grow at abnormal fast rate, resulting in building up of dead skin cells on the skin's surface. Eventually, these develop to the red, itchy patches and thick, silvery scales.

In addition to genetic or autoimmune factors, certain environment factors are also believed to trigger episode of psoriasis, and they include:
1. Infections, such as sore throat
2. Injury, such as sunburn, cuts, or scrapes
3. Dry or cold air
4. Stress
5. Lack of sunlight
6. Smoking
7. Heavy alcohol consumption
8. Certain medications, such as lithium, beta blockers, and anti-malarial drugs

What are the available conventional treatments for psoriasis?
Since psoriasis is considered originates due to genetic factors, it cannot be totally cured. However, conventional treatments for psoriasis are available which aim to alleviate the symptoms (redness, itchiness and pain) and prevent further bad complications. Treatments of psoriasis are patient-specific; they are selected based on the disease's degree of severity. Some of the treatments include:

1. Topical medications
Apart form moisturizers, there are a wide range of creams, ointments, lotions, oils and soaps that can be applied to help alleviate mild to moderate psoriasis. These topical medications include steroids, vitamin D analogues, topical retinoids and coal tar. In case of severe psoriasis, where the topical medications alone fail or the affected areas are too big, combination with systemic medications or physical therapy should be considered.

2. Systemic medications
Systemic medications for treatments of psoriasis include pills and injections. These form of medications usually used to treat more severe or stubborn psoriasis. Examples of oral drugs include retinoids, cyclosporine, methotrexate and hydroxyurea. Injections include injectable biologics, which are new available treatments for psoriasis. They represent a new future in psoriasis therapy which can change life of many psoriasis patients.

3. Physical treatments
Physical treatments of psoriasis refer to light therapies. Natural and artificial light, as well as ultraviolet light, can be used to alleviate psoriasis. Ingestion of sun-sensitizing pills is needed prior the therapy to improve effectiveness. However, the newest light therapy which involves use of narrow-band ultraviolet B, is considered safer, more effective and does not require prior ingestion of sun-sensitizing pills.

What are psoriasis natural treatments?

In addition to the conventional treatments of psoriasis described before, some of the following psoriasis natural treatments can be cultivated among patients:

1. Dietary changes
Make sure to increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those contain high content of carotenoids such as mangoes, corn, sweet potatoes, carrots and squash, as well as leafy greens and tomatoes. At the same time, follow an anti-inflammatory diet and take low fat foods.

2. Exercise
Regular physical activity may help to reduce annoying symptoms of psoriasis.

3. Mind/body
Breathing techniques, yoga, visualization, or writing a journal about daily conditions can help patients to calm themselves in fighting with psoriasis. Otherwise, hypnotherapy is worth explored as the skin is very sensitive to hypnotic stimulation.

4. Traditional Chinese Medicine
Use of herbal preparations or acupuncture may be beneficial as psoriasis natural treatment.

5. Supplements
Supplements that serve as natural sources of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid)) can promote healthy growths of skin, hair and nails. Such examples include omega-3 fatty acids (1-2 grams a day) and evening primrose oil (500 mg twice a day). Besides, it is suggested to take extract of milk thistle (Silybum marianum), two capsules twice a day for at least three months.

The information given in this article may not be sufficient to cover everything about psoriasis. However, this article at least gives basic insights to help you understanding your psoriasis better. Better understanding of your disease is the first step to overcome it. To get more information regarding psoriasis, kindly click here.