Know Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic disease that manifests itself on the skin as red, scaly patches commonly called as psoriatic plaques. These patches are areas of inflammation and excessive skin production where skin rapidly accumulates and takes as silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area including the scalp and genitals. The psoriatic plaques are non-contagious (non-infectious and do not spread the disease).

About 2-3% global population (approximately 14-15 crore people on the earth) is reported to suffer with psoriasis. The statistics vary with continent and geographies and there is no structured information from any country in the world.  Whatever may be the number on the earth you are not alone. The manifestation has widespread impact in life

Cause: The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is believed that a combination of several factors contributes to the development of this disease. The published scientific literature suggests following factors related with susceptibility, trigger and aggravation of psoriasis:  

Genetic: Psoriasis is known to run as heredity disease and many of the genes are involved in disease manifestation. There are about 9 locations on our chromosomes which are linked with psoriasis and are known as PSORS1 through PSORS9 (psoriasis susceptibility). But this is not the only reason.

Infections: Underlying infections such as those of bacterial (Streptococcus), fungal (e.x. infection in groin, vagina. glans penis) and viral (HIV) origin remaining untreated for a long time lead to autoimmune reaction type of psoriatic triggers. The prevalence of psoriasis in the HIV positive population ranges from 1 to 6 percent, which is about three times higher than the normal population.  

Drugs: Certain medicines, particularly, beta blockers and the antimalarial drug chloroquine have been reported to trigger or aggravate the disease.

Allergic reactions: Urticaria due cosmetics and other reasons has been reported  to trigger or precipitate psoriasis.

Stress (Physical, emotional, mental, social, financial):
All types of stress increase psoriasis manifestation.