The affected skin is red and sometimes itchy, and can be covered with silver or whitish scales (which are sometimes called psoriatic plaques). Normally it only affects certain areas of the body and the size of the area can vary, though all areas normally have a very definite border. It's especially common on the elbows and knees, on the lower back and on the scalp. Sometimes the psoriatic plaque disappears on its own. Psoriasis can also affect the joints (i.e. psoriatic arthritis).
When looked at in a historical context, psoriasis can be thought of as a relatively new skin disease. The Greek physician Hippocrates (460-370 BC) documented treating a scaly skin condition which was likely psoriasis.
Psoriasis is also the medical name for the condition, a term derived from the Greek word psora (meaning itch or scratch). The word can also be used to describe mange or scabies. Due to this catch-all definition (especially as it generally referred to the formation of plaque), psoriasis was thought to be caused by ectoparasites, or was sometimes categorised with conditions such as leprosy. It's quite likely that during the middle ages, many who were diagnoses with leprosy actually suffered with psoriasis. Even today chronic psoriasis can severely limit one's quality of life, as although this skin condition is in no way contagious, the sufferers are often stigmatised due to the odd appearance of the skin.
The truth is that psoriasis is a common inflammation of the skin which has its origin in the immune system (i.e. an autoimmune response). It can have a genetic component and is sometimes brought on by certain risk factors. The metabolism of fumaric acid plays a central role in the progression of the skin condition, as does the excessive activity of a particular kind of white blood cell (lymphocyte) known as a T cell.
Fumaric acid is produced by the kidneys. It plays a role in cell content regulation and also the lifespan of the cell. If the fumaric acid level in the cell is insufficient or irregular, cell growth goes unchecked. For the keratin cells which are present in the surface of the skin, that can mean a very rapid regeneration requiring only 3.5 days – the cell division occurs too quickly. An immune reaction having to do with the T cells can accompany this errant skin function. Here the no longer functional skin cells on the surface are not sloughed off and so they accumulate – this is the psoriatic thickening of the skin, the plaque so well known to those who suffer with the skin disease.
The progression of psoriasis varies from individual to individual, though it almost always occurs in phases. It's common that the skin condition worsens in the fall and spring. Occasionally the condition spontaneously resolves itself. Psoriasis can occur only once, though most often it is a chronic condition.
Usually psoriasis is diagnosed by a doctor based on the presence of the psoriatic plaque, an easily recognised change in the quality of the skin. In addition the appearance of the skin is different due to itching and the resulting injuries, and a peculiar pinpoint bleeding when the affected skin is scraped.
If the symptoms of the psoriasis are very mild it can be quite difficult to diagnose. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as eczema, fungal infection (i.e. mycosis), lichen planus, pityriasis rubra pilaris or syphilis.
Psoriatic arthritis is also difficult to differentiate from other acute or chronic joint disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout. This is especially true when the skin is not affected by the telltale plaque. Blood tests and x-rays can be helpful in diagnosing this type of arthritis.
A purely medication-based treatment is still very common today. You should consider a more comprehensive way of addressing psoriasis, one that includes natural remedies. If this more holistic sort of treatment is not successful, small-dose medications can be added to supplement the natural treatment. Medication should not be the only thing you're doing to get rid of psoriasis.
The elimination of psoriasis should begin with an evaluation of one's lifestyle – changes can become apparent after carrying out such an analysis. We recommend our Success Plan as a comprehensive way to be rid of psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris, pustular psoriasis) which includes the Curative Mineral Mask and Bentomed. Both are important in restoring healthy skin. Along with this combination remedy, the Curative Mineral Soap is the optimal way to gently clean your skin every day. Unlike normal soaps and shower gels, it's natural and free of harsh chemical additives that may irritate the skin.