10 Home Remedies for Psoriasis

 

According to Stefen Weiss, MD at Weiss Skin Institute, there is not much scientific evidence to prove that home treatment of psoriasis works. However, some measure may help recover their appearance and feel of damaged skin and you may find temporary cure, be sure to consult your doctor.

Psoriasis home treatment

Here are 10 simple home treatments to help psoriasis.

 1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has been used for treatment of various health ailments from the ancient era. Various studies have proved that aloe vera, with its anti-inflammatory property, is much effective in minimizing psoriasis severity. Aloe vera juice boosts immune system, flushes out body toxin and help fight psoriasis. Gel from aloe vera can be applied on the affected area up to three times a day.

  2. Banana Peel

Banana peel is an important component to treatment psoriasis. Rub the inner area of the banana peel directly to the affected area until the white part turns brownish colour. This natural remedy for psoriasis works for mild to moderate cases and would help soothe your skin and rashes. Leave the peel on the skin for ten to twenty minutes, repeat it 2-3 times a day.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

For short-term treatment of scaling and itching, you can use one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar added in some lukewarm water. Apply it on the affected area, massage it and leave it for one to two minutes. It aids in rebalancing our pH factor. While there is not much evidence to support apple cider vinegar to treat psoriasis, but there are examples of people sharing their experience.

4. Chamomile

Chamomile, with its soothing properties, has been used to cure psoriasis. The herb lowers the skin inflammation and help soothe psoriasis. Grind the petals of chamomile flowers and prepare a paste by adding little water and some honey. Apply this paste on lesion and leave for 10-15 minutes. The treatment can be done 2-3 times a day. Do not use chamomile if you have ragweed allergy.

5. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in healing. It cuts the scaling and redness. You can also apply capsaicin cream, but not on broken skin. A study has found that a cream comprising .025% to .075% capsaicin helps getting rid of psoriasis. You may feel a brief sensation initially. Try it on s small lesion to check if it helps. Wait for a week to see the results.

6. Cashew Nut Oil

Cashew nut oil is rich in Vitamin E and is an effective natural treatment for psoriasis and an excellent rubefacient. It can deep moisturize, remove dead skin and help improve flare-ups of psoriasis. Apply cashew nut oil gently on your lesions 2-3 times in a day. Regular use will help soothe your skin and improve the appearance. Smell of cashew nut oil is not very appealing, so some may not prefer using it.

7. Castor Oil

Castor oil comes from seed of castor seed plant and is loaded with antioxidants. It is considered as a miracle cure for various skin conditions including psoriasis. In addition to its antioxidant property, it also has potential immune benefits. Apply castor oil directly to lesions with a cotton ball before going to bed. You will notice improvement of the lesions after a few weeks. Do not apply castor oil on open skin.

8. Olive Oil

With its anti-inflammatory property, olive oil can help calm your skin. Thanks to its Vitamin E content and fatty acid, it also makes a great moisturizer for skin and help heal burn wounds. Mix two teaspoon olive oil with a glass of milk and add the mixture to your bathwater. You can also massage olive oil into your scalp to remove plaques before taking shower.

9. Fish Oil

Fatty acids in omega-3 has been scientifically proven an effective remedy to treat psoriasis. Eating weekly servings of albacore tuna, salmon and other fatty fishes, rich in omega-3 fatty acids could help ease inflammation. Supplements of fish oil in the form of capsule are available over counter at drugstores and food markets. Applying fish oil directly on the skin also works well for some. Don’t take fish oil if you are blood thinners.

10. Baking Soda and Water

Baking soda is another effective way to help soothe psoriasis itchiness. Simply mix one-third cup of baking soda into one gallon of water, and then immerse a washcloth into this concoction and squeeze the cloth. Apply it directly to the affected area and repeat this 3-4 times in a day. The cure does burn though due to salt in baking soda.

Understanding Psoriasis – What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic disease of skin that results in thick, white, red or silver patches on the skin due to quick growth of the skin cells.

The normal skin cells grow slowly and then tend to flake off within 4 weeks which are then replaced by outer skin layers that get shed off. But in case of psoriasis, the cells grow faster with the above mechanism being repeated in day instead of weeks. This results in formation of plaques or thick patches. Psoriasis is seen commonly in adults between ages of 15 to 35 years but may also occur in children and teens. Prevalence of psoriasis is 2-4% in general population and 1.3-2.2% in UK.

Psoriasis

Causes of Psoriasis

There is no single cause identified till date for the occurrence of psoriasis. It is believed that psoriasis occurs due to overactive immune system or autoimmunity that leads to flaking as well as inflammation of the skin.  Genetics may be another cause of psoriasis as it may be seen in families. Environmental agents may also be one of the predisposing agents as well as triggering agents for psoriasis.

Signs and symptoms of Psoriasis

The psoriatic signs and symptoms may occur in different intensities and frequencies. Psoriasis could be mild, with small patches of inflammation or rash on skin. In case ofmoderate to severe psoriasis, there is inflammation with raised red patches capped with loose, silvery white, scaly skin. In severe psoriasis, the skin becomes itchy as well as tender. Sometimes large plaques form on the skin that may become uncomfortable. These plaques or large patches may cluster together and cover large region of skin, such as the entire back. Psoriasis affects the elbows, knees, skin folds, nails and scalp.

Is Psoriasis contagious?

No, psoriasis is not contagious as it does not pass from one individual to other.

Diagnosis of Psoriasis

Most of the times, doctors may diagnose psoriasis by simply looking at the patches on the skin, scalp, or nails. Special tests aren’t required for diagnosing psoriasis.Sometimes, blood tests, X-rays or biopsies may be performed in order to rule out the other possible skin diseases.

Prevention of Psoriasis

Most of the cases of psoriasis are mid that can be prevented with appropriate skin care. Various skin care home measures can help in prevention or control of psoriasis. Follow are some tips to care for psoriasis:

  • Use moisturizing creams or lotions regularly to avoid dryness. One should also prefer using special moisturizing baths or soaks to keep their skin moist.
  • Try to shorten exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light or direct sunlight.
  • Aloe vera might be another good option which is available in form of gels and creams. One should follow the instructions carefully while using the skin products or the other prescribed medicines.
  • Avoid using the skin products which cause dryness or other adverse effects on skin.

Treatment of Psoriasis

Although psoriasis cannot be completely cured, but some of the cases of psoriasis can be treated with the following treatment measures:

  • Moisturizing the skin using various creams, ointments, and lotions. These products should be used after consulting the doctor in order to avoid any side effects.
  • Using appropriate shampoos, oils, or sprays as per the doctor’s directions, in order to treat psoriasis in the scalp.
  • Appropriate exposure to sunlight (neither more nor less)
  • Medications or pills prescribed by your doctor.
  • Supplements to help improvise your immune system.
  • Phototherapy, which includes exposing the affected regions of skin to special ultraviolet light.
  • Dealing with stress in order to improvise immunity.

Medications for Psoriasis

Different medications can be prescribed depending upon the severity of psoriasis:

  • For mild cases, psoriasis may be controlled using over-the-counter medicines like corticosteroid creams.
  • For moderate to severe cases, topical medicines includingcorticosteroid creams or medicines containing vitamin D such as calcipotriene can be taken, as prescribed by the doctor. Anthralin and tars are some other topical medicines which can be applied in case of psoriasis.
  • Occlusion therapy
  • Biologics:These are similar to the proteins produce by the body. These biologics work by blocking the adverse response of the immune system of the body and prevents from causing signs of psoriasis.

Psoriasis Vulgaris (Plaque Psoriasis) – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

‘Vulgaris’ literal meaning is ‘common’. The most common form of the skin disease psoriasis is termed as psoriasis vulgaris. This type of psoriasis is found in about 80% of the people suffering from this disease. The other medical term used for this condition is Plaque Psoriasis as it is characterized by well demarcated plaques of inflamed skin that can appear on any part of the body which includes most commonly scalp, elbows, knees or trunk. At the top of the plaques, the flaky silvery white scales are present. Most common symptoms include itching, pain and cracking of the affected skin.

Psoriasis Vulgaris

Causes of Psoriasis Vulgaris

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder mediated by T cells. T cells produced cytokines which further stimulate proliferation of keratinocytes to the epidermis resulting in the development of this disease. These interactions are stimulated by multiple factors like environmental or genetic factors. The cytokines also lead to the production of antigenic adhesion molecules in vascular structures which further increase T-cell cytokine response.

Symptoms of Psoriasis Vulgaris

  1. Well defined and sharply demarcated raised bumps with size of one to several centimetres.
  2. Presence of thin, dry and silvery scales on the top of plaques.
  3. Inflammation and pruritus of the affected skin.
  4. Lesions are fiery red in colour and when present on the lower part like flexor surface of legs, lesions appear as blue or violaceous tint in colour.
  5. Involvement of nails as nails exhibit pitting, onycholysisor oil-drop sign.
  6. Psoriatic arthritis occurs in 10-20% of all people suffering from psoriasis characterized by inflamed, warm and tender joints.
  7. In children, plaque psoriasis exhibit different lesion as the lesions exhibit less scales and plaques are also not as think as in adults.

Management of Psoriasis Vulgaris

  1. Topical treatment: Use of corticosteroids, anthralin, coal tar, tazarotene is advisable to get relief from the symptoms.
  2. Photo therapy: It includes the following treatment:
  • Ultraviolet B radiation: there is less chances of burning and offers efficient results. The combination of topical treatment and narrow band UVB radiation is given to the patient as second line of treatment.
  1. Psoralen plus Ultraviolet a irradiation (PUVA) in combination with UVA radiation a photosensitizing drug methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen) is given in this treatment to deal with severe cases.
  2. Biologic treatment: It includes selective systematic derived intervention to treat the patients at the molecular level.Use of efalizumab,adalimumab, ustekinumab, etanercept is advisable in biological treatment. This treatment is recommended for the patient with severe disease and when the former treatments are unsuccessful. This treatment acts on the pathogenesis of this disease.

Complications of Psoriasis Vulgaris

  • Complications of psoriasis vulgaris include psychosocial distress and anxiety due to embarrassment and self-consciousness about appearance of skin.
  • The skin disease severely affects the quality of life of the patients.
  • Also use of topical treatment for longer time can lead to the development of erythrodermic and pustular form of psoriasis.

Pustular Psoriasis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Pustular psoriasis is a rare form of psoriasis. It appears as well demarcated, raisedbumps surrounded by reddish area. These raised projections are filled with white and thick fluid composed of white cells known as pus. Under and around these projections, the skin appears erythematous. Acute pustular cutaneous characteristics may occur before, after or during psoriasis vulgaris episodes.

Pustular psoriasis

Forms of Pustular Psoriasis

The forms of pustular psoriasis are classified on the basis of clinical course. It is classified into following types:

  • Acute
  • Sub-acute
  • Chronic
  • Acute form: It is also known as Von Zumbusch variant. It is usually accompanied by toxicity and fever. Proper management and treatment should be taken during acute phase otherwise it can prove to be lethal.
  • Sub-acute or chronic phase: It is milder form of pustular psoriasis. Less systematic infections are there. It is described as annular or circunate type of lesion.
  • Juvenile or infantile form: This is another type of pustular psoriasis. But it is rare form.

Cause of Pustular Psoriasis

The main aetiology of pustular psoriasis is Enhanced polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMNL) chemo taxis. This is due to intrinsic defect or due to the presence of chemo attractants in the epidermis.  But still, the research is yet to be conducted to know the principal stimulus for the migration of PMNL to the epidermis. Some researchers also emphasis the role of cytokines secreted by keratinocytes in PMNL migration.

Predisposing factors of Pustular Psoriasis

The following risk factors can predisposed the development of this disease:

  • Topical steroids: use of strong and irritating topicals like zinc pyrithione, tar, anthralinetc. can predispose to the eruption of pustular psoriasis.
  • Cholestatic jaundice: this is also one of the predisposing factors leading to the development of this disease.
  • Infections: infection on the epidermis can also invite PMNL to the surface thus leading to pustular psoriasis.
  • Drug allergy: use of certain drugs like trazodone, phenylbutazone, iodine, salicylates
  • Hypocalcaemia: less amount of calcium in the body can also lead to pustular psoriasis eruption
  • Idiopathic

Symptoms of Pustular Psoriasis

These are the symptoms of Pustular Psoriasis

  • Headache, chills, fever, nausea
  • Skin becomes inflamed and fiery red
  • Appearance of clusters of superficial pustules of 2-3 mm size
  • Coalescing of pustules and formation of pus lakes
  • Formation of smooth and erythematous surface after pus gets dry out
  • Episodes of pustulation occurs for few days
  • Systematic involvement with in few days in severe cases

Treatment of Pustular Psoriasis

These are the treatment which helps in curing the Pustular Psoriasis

  1. Supportive measure: Patients suffering from pustular psoriasis eruption should be admitted to the hospital for proper treatment and care.
  • Adequate hydration,avoidance of excessive heat lossbed rest should be ensured.
  • Use of bland topical compresses or oatmeal baths should be done which will help in debriding and soothing affected areas. This topical strategy is also effective in many paediatric patients as well.
  1. Pharmacological treatment: it should be started along with supportive measures. Oral retinoids, cyclosporine, hydroxyurea, 6-thioguanine and methotrexate are considered as first line treatment for pustular psoriasis.
  2. Phototherapy: following phototherapy treatment are useful for the severe stages of pustular psoriasis.
  • Oral psoralen plus UV-A
  • UV-B and narrow-band UV-B
  • Retinoid plus PUVA

Psoriatic Arthritis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Psoriatic arthritis is a kind of inflammatory arthritis that affects the people suffering from skin disease known as psoriasis. Psoriasis is characterized by fiery red and dry scales on the affected skin and nail abnormalities. Normally, people are diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis after the symptoms of psoriasis appear but sometimes joint problems may start before the symptoms of psoriasis start appearing.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis can be diagnosed at any part of the body which may also include spine and finger tips. The severity of the condition may depend on the periods of remission.  The treatment of psoriatic arthritis is questionable as there is no cure for this condition. It can only be controlled by focusing on the symptoms of this disease and the prevention of damages caused by this condition. If the situation is not controlled, then it can also lead to disabling.

Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis

The cause of psoriatic arthritis can be environmental or genetic. In this condition, body’s own defence cells start attacking body’s healthy tissues or cells. This leads to the inflammation of the healthy tissue in the joints. The family history of psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis can lead to development of this condition and thus confirming the involvement of genes as predisposing factor in the development of this disease.

Environmental conditions such as bacterial or viral infection or any kind of external trauma may cause psoriatic arthritis in people with inherited predisposition.

Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis

Painful and swollen joints are the main symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis among the patients suffering from psoriasis. The condition can affect either sides or only one side of your body.PsoriaticArthritis is characterized by almost similar symptoms as of rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms include:

  1. Swelling: swelling of finger and toes is one of the early symptoms of this condition. The swelling can be painful and it may also cause deformity in hands and feet.
  2. Pain in lower back: psoriatic arthritis can also lead to the development of spondylitis. It is the condition in which inflammation of the joints occur between the spinal vertebrae.
  3. Foot pain: pain especially in the sole of foot and the back of heels is the characteristic of psoriatic arthritis. Pain usually occurs at the attachment points of tendons and ligaments.

Predisposing factors

The following risk factors can predisposed the development of this disease:

  1. Genetics: people with family history of psoriatic arthritis have higher chances of developing this disease.
  2. Psoriasis: This is one of the biggest risk factor for the development of this disease. People suffering from psoriasis and especially people having lesions affecting nails are more likely to develop this condition.
  3. Age: people with age 30 to 50 are more likely to be affected by this condition.

Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis

These are the treatments for Psoriatic arthritis:

  1. Supportive measure: change in the lifestyle behaviour will act as supportive measure for the treatment of this disease.
  • Regular exercise will help you in keeping your joints and muscles strong.
  • Maintenance of healthy weight will reduce the strain on your joints.
  • Use of cold and hot packs on joints to dull pain sensation.
  1. Pharmacological treatment: includes use of medications like immunosuppressant, NSAIDS, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) etc.
  1. Surgical treatment: Includes:
  • Use of steroid injections.
  • Joint replacement surgery in severe cases in which joints have been severely damaged by psoriatic arthritis..

Inverse Psoriasis (Flexural Psoriasis) – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Flexural psoriasis is also known as inverse psoriasis and this type of psoriasis is one of the most painful forms of psoriasis. This type of psoriasis is characterized by fiery red and inflamed patches on the affected skin and mainly affects the folded skin like beneath the breast, around the groin part or armpits. It is not exhibited by scales, one of the peculiar characteristic of psoriasis. But inverse psoriasis causes more itching of the skin and is more painful. As it usually affects armpits or folded regions of the skin, it is usually misdiagnosed with fungal infections. If flexural psoriasis is not treated on time, then it can lead to fungal infections or other skin problems.

Inverse Psoriasis

 

Symptoms of Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis is characterized by slightly different appearance from the other forms of psoriasis. This is because of the moisture present in the affected skin folds. The following are the characteristics of inverse psoriasis:

  1. Lack of scales on the affected area
  2. Presence of smooth and shiny layer on the affected skin.
  3. Presence of cracks or fissures in the depth of crease folds.
  4. Well demarcated and inflamed borders.
  5. Itching and pain on the affected area.
  6. If inverse psoriasis occurs on the circumcised penis, then scaly plaques may be present.

Treatment of Inverse Psoriasis

The treatment of inverse psoriasis includes:

  1. Topical steroids: Topical steroids along with an antifungal agent are advisable as first line of treatment for inverse psoriasis. Generally strong topical steroids like coal tar, salicylic acid ordithranolare prescribed as there are high chances of relapse if weak steroids are prescribed. These strong topical steroids can be used after diluting them as these steroids can cause irritation in sensitive areas. If the skin gives good response with topical steroid, then use of steroid cream should be stopped if healing of skin occurs. Overuse of steroid cream or use for longer time can cause thinning of the skin folds. This can further lead to stretch marks or can aggravate the disease as well.
  2. Vitamin D-like compounds: This is also one of the safe and effective treatments to deal with inverse psoriasis. Use of calcipotriol cream is prescribed to apply two times a day. In case of irritation caused by this cream, it is advised to use once daily.
  3. Topical calcineurin inhibitors: Ointments like tacrolimus or pimecrolimus can also be used as these ointments cause less thinning of the affected skin.
  4. Topical antifungal agents and Antiseptics: Along with combination of above treatment, antifungal agents are also prescribed to treat with bacterial or fungal infections.
  5. Phototherapy: It is usually not recommended to treat inverse psoriasis as the folds are not accessible by light exposure.

Complications of Inverse Psoriasis

If treatment of flexural psoriasis is not done at right time, may be due to misdiagnosis then following complications can occur:

  1. Development of fungal or yeast infections mainly Candida albicans(thrush).
  2. Irritation and pain due to infection and sweating in folded areas.
  3. Lichenification : this is a kind of eczema usually results due to scratching and rubbing on the affected area. This problem is mainly found around the anal region as faecal material causes irritation leading to more itching.
  4. Due to discomfort and embarrassment, the patients may also exhibit sexual difficulties.
  5. Thinning of skin due to use of strong topical steroid creams for longer time.

Guttate Psoriasis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

‘Guttate’ is taken from the Latin language word ‘gutta’ which means drop. This is one of the forms of psoriasis that is characterized by tiny salmon-pink coloured drops on the affected skin. Guttate psoriasis also exhibits scales as one in plaque psoriasis but in this form of psoriasis, scales are much finer. The size of the drop-like lesions varies from 1-10 mm in diameter. The most common sites affected by this form of psoriasis are trunk region and extremities, thus showing centripetal distribution. It most commonly affects individuals with less than 30 years of age.

Guttate Psoriasis

Cause of Guttate Psoriasis

The most common cause which triggers the clinical manifestation of the disease is streptococcal infection. The sudden eruption of the skin lesions occur within three weeks of streptococcal infection. This sudden outbreak could also be due to acute aggravation of long standing case of plaque psoriasis. A person suffering from chronic plaque psoriasis can suddenly get episode of this form of psoriasis. Apart from streptococcal bacteria, other infections like cold or chickenpox can also lead to development of guttate psoriasis. The genetics also play its role in the pathogenesis of this disease.

Clinical manifestations of Guttate Psoriasis

These are some clinical manifestations given below;

  1. Appearance of small, multiple, salmon-pink coloured drop-like papules of 1-10 mm in diameter on the affected skin.
  2. Presence of fine scales in late stages of the lesion.
  3. Itching and pruritus of the affected skin.
  4. Centripetal distribution of the lesion first affecting the trunk and then moving towards extremities.
  5. History of streptococcal infections or other bacterial infections before the appearance of lesions
  6. Involvement of perianal or pharyngeal area in the cases having history of streptococcal infections.
  7. Involvement of nails like formation of nail pits or oil-drop sign is absent.

Management of Guttate Psoriasis

The management of guttate psoriasis depends on the pathogenesis of the disease. Usually, the symptoms of the disease remain from few weeks to months and then resolve without any treatment.

Use of emollients for treating the disease will be sufficient as first line of treatment. Topical steroids can also be used but the application of topical steroids can be little bit burdensome in case of extensive eruption as in Guttate psoriasis.

  1. Topical corticosteroids: These steroids act as anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive. These steroids also show vasoconstrictive action. Strong steroids should be avoided at face or on infants or in the areas with thin skin. But these steroids can be used elsewhere on the other affected areas of the body. These steroids may act as the most effective treatment for thick plaques.
  2. Use of Antimicrobials: Antimicrobials like amoxicillin, penicillin etc. are also used because of the association of this disease with streptococcal infection. However, still, research need to be done to know the effectiveness of the antimicrobial therapy in the management of this disease.
  3. Phototherapy: To treat the severe cases, narrow band ultraviolet therapy (UV-B) is used. And if the case is quite resistant, then PUVA is recommended.

Complications in Guttate Psoriasis

Two major complications are there in Guttate psoriasis:

  • The complications may include hypersensitivity, if the patient is allergic to penicillin. In that case, antimicrobial therapy should be discontinued or else patient should be put on other antimicrobial drugs like erythromycin.
  • Long use of strong topical steroids can cause thinning of the skin or hypopigmentation of the skin.

Scalp Psoriasis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

The skin disorder that is characterized by raised, scaly and reddish patches on the entire scalp. The lesion can appear just as a single patch on the small area of the scalp or can spread to the entire area of the scalp.  It can also affect the adjoining areas like skin on forehead, behind the ears or at the back of neck. It is the common form of psoriasis and people suffering from plaque psoriasis have chances of getting episode of Scalp psoriasis. Most of the times, it remains unnoticeable resulting in scratching and itching.

Scalp Psoriasis

Causes of Scalp Psoriasis

The cause of scalp psoriasis is the same as plaque vulgaris. The immune system is responsible for the development of this disease. The release of cytokines in the system sends wrong signals resulting in excessive production of new cells. The body then becomes unable to shed off those excessive cells. This results in the formation of patches on the surface of the scalp. The genetics also play significant role in the development of this disease.

Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis

These are the symptoms of scalp psoriasis:

  1. Scaly and red patches: formation of red coloured, scaly and bumpy patches. Sometimes these patches remain unnoticeable and thus the patches change to thicker and inflamed form.
  2. Formation of silvery-white scale: the formation of silvery-white scale is peculiar feature of scalp psoriasis unlike dandruff. Usually, it is misdiagnosed as dandruff on the scalp.
  3. Dryness: the scalp becomes dry and sometimes crack and bleeding can occur on the surface.
  4. Itching: dryness can cause itching. It may be from mild to severe form thus can also interfere with sleep at night.
  5. Bleeding: due to constant itching and scratching, the scalp may bleed. Scratching can aggravate the condition and should be avoided.
  6. Hair loss: the formation of patches, dryness and scratching can cause hair loss for temporary period.
  7. Burning sensation: the soreness and burning sensation can be felt at times.

Management of Scalp Psoriasis

These are some points which shows how to manage scalp psoriasis:

  1. Topical treatment: topical treatment includes use of medicated shampoos,oils, gels, soaps. Use ofAnthralin, topical steroid like betamethasone ,vitamin A derivative Tazarotene or calcipotriene is prescribed
  2. Pharmacological treatment: to treat severe cases, strong steroids are prescribed or injected directly on the affected area of the scalp. To treat severe cases, following medicines are prescribed:
  • Cyclosporine
  • Corticosteroids
  • Methotrexate
  • Vitamin D derivative
  • A strong form of vitamin A, called a derivative
  1. Phototherapy: People having thick hair and suffering from scalp psoriasis are recommended for phototherapy. Use of narrow band UV B treatment is recommended. The treatment is not advisable for the people with thin hair.

Precautions for Scalp Psoriasis

These are the precautions which everybody should adopt:

  1. Try to avoid scratching as it can worsen the condition.
  2. Try to avoid stress as stress can also flare up the condition. Stress can also lead to hair loss.
  3. Use shampoo gently on your scalp. Try not to rub it on the scalp.
  4. Try not to pick the hard plaques on the scalp. First loosen the plaques with scale softeners and then remove them gently

Nail Psoriasis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Psoriasis is a skin disorder which is characterized by fiery red and dry scales on the affected skin and nail abnormalities. Psoriasis can affect toe nails or finger nails thus causing thickening, pitting and irregular contouring of the nails.Nail psoriasis occurs in patients who are suffering from symptomatic psoriasis. Less than 4-5% patients suffer from nail psoriasis with no other clinical findings of psoriasis. If nail psoriasis is not treated on time, then it can lead to social and functional impairment.

Nail Psoriasis

Stages of Nail Psoriasis

People suffering from nail psoriasis exhibit nail changes. The various types of nail psoriasis are:

Type 1: Classic distal interphalangeal joint involvement (5% of patients)

Type 2: Arthritis mutilans

Type 3: Symmetric polyarthritis

Type 4:Asymmetric oligoarthritis(occurs most commonly)

Type 5:Ankylosing spondylitis

Symptoms of Nail Psoriasis

These are some symptoms given below;

  1. Patch formation in nail bed: This is the most characteristic sign of Nail Psoriasis. There is formation of yellow-red discoloured patch in nail bed. There is translucent lesion formation.
  2. Pitting of nail matrix: Due to loss of keratin cells, from the upper surface of nail plate, it results in pitting formation.
  3. Formation of Beau lines: There is formation of transverse lines in the nails
  4. Onycholysis: It is defined as formation of white area due to pathological separation of nail plate from nail bed.
  5. Crumbling of nail plate: The disease can cause weakening of nails and underlying structures.
  6. Subungual hyperkeratosis: There is excessive proliferation of the nail bed lead to the condition called onycholysis.

Treatment of Nail Psoriasis

Nail psoriasis has no cure but it can be improved and can be returned to normal condition. It can cause nails to look ugly and can be uncomfortable. This can also lead to psychosocial distress.

The treatment largely depends on the severity of the disease.

  1. Calcipotriol solution: It is safe to use and should be applied twice in a day.
  2. Topical corticosteroids are recommended to be used at bed time. It gives effective results.
  3. Intralesional triamcinolone acetonide: The solution is injected into proximal nail folds to get desired results.
  4. Phototherapy: Narrow band UVB or PUVa is recommended to treat the severe cases
  5. Systematic treatment: Includes use of oral methotrexate, ciclosporin, retinoids to deal with psoriasis.
  6. Surgical treatment: Includes complete surgical removal ofnail in case of severe cases.
  7. Antifungal medication: If secondary infections occur then antifungal medications are also prescribed.

Causes of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disease characterized by thickening, inflammation as well as flaking of skin. It is a chronic disease that occurs in adults.

Psoriasis causes

There is no single cause identified by the researchers for occurrence of psoriasis but it is believed that it may occur due to the following causes:

  • Autoimmunity: The T-cells present in the human body are the white blood cells that provide immunity against infections and foreign agents during its normal functioning. Psoriasis result when these defence cells overreact by causing defensive action against the body’s own skin cells by recognising them as foreign cells. This leads to a chain of unnecessary events causing inflammation of the skin.
  • Genetics: Psoriasis may also run in families with heredity being a predisposing factor.
  • Environmental agents: Certain infections like common cold, HIV or other immunosuppressive diseases may also result in psoriasis by making the overall immune system of the body compromised.

Triggering agents of Psoriasis

Psoriasis may be already present in some individuals but is symptomless. These symptoms could be aroused by some triggering agent present inside the body or in the external environment. These triggering agents could be any of the following:

  • Viral or bacterial infections: Infections like common cold and strep throat could lead to triggering of psoriasis by lowering elevating the inflammatory response in the body.
  • Immunosuppressive diseases: Some diseases like HIV/AIDS lower the immunity of body by attacking the immune system of the body directly. Other immunosuppressive diseases include cancer, tuberculosis etc.
  • Dryness: Weather may also affect the skin as in winters when the dry air may lead to dryness as well as flakingof skin.
  • Immunosuppressant drugs: Some drugs like anti-malarial drugs, beta-blockers, lithium and other metals may cause suppression of immunity thus triggering psoriasis.
  • Stress: Emotional stress also tends to compromise the immune system that may become another triggering agent for psoriasis.
  • Cuts, burns or bites: Various injuries or insect as well as animal bites or burns may also trigger psoriasis.
  • Sunburn or sunrays: Harmful sunrays may also lead to skin burns leading to psoriasis. Deficient exposure to sun may also trigger psoriasis.
  • Alcohol: Increased intake of alcohol may be another agent for lowering the immunity.
  • Smoking: Smoking cigarettes or bidis may also result in appearance of symptoms of psoriasis as the tobacco contained in these also affect the immunity.

All the above agents may either lead to appearance of symptoms of psoriasis or may even lead to worsening of the already existing condition.