The diagnosis of psoriasis is usually made by dermatological examination. If it is clinically confused with other conditions, a piece of sample from skin may be necessary for pathological examination. There is no special blood test to confirm diagnosis of psoriasis.
Who gets psoriasis?
Psoriasis occurs in both genders. However, disease incidence have more frequency in women rather than men. The disease can arise at any age. Age of onset is below 10 years in 10-15% of patients. Mean age of onset is 28.
Are all types of psoriasis similar?
Psoriasis can appear in many different clinical forms. In the most common type of the disease, typical symptoms are raised, red, scaly patches on the skin which covered by thick plaque with white silvery flaking like dandruff, especially on the regions such as; knee, elbow and scalp. Occasionally, the patches can be widespread enough to cover the entire body.
Involvement of scalp occurs in nearly 50% of patients. In some cases, only scalp involvement can occur.
Disease in children may exhibit different characteristics. Usually, symptoms are red, scalypatches with 1-10 mm in diameter. These symptoms may increase especially after upper respiratory tract infections.
The disease can be limited to skinfolds such as; axilla, groin, substernal areas in certain patients. Since those areas involved in psoriasis have a humid characteristic, disease presents with only red patches without flaking like dandruff.
Psoriasis can also cause swelling in the form of acne, as well as flaking and redness. Furthermore, as skin rashes are limited to the regions of palm and sole (palmoplantar pustular psoriasis), they may be also widespread enough to cover whole body.
Psoriasis can cause the pitting, thickening, separation, the point of bleeding and changes of yellowing on the nails. These symptoms may be associated with other skin rashes as well as occuring alone.
Joint involvement can be detected in 10% of patients with psoriasis. Especially, involvements of hand and foot are common. Large joints are rarely affected. Diagnosis of the psoriasis accompanied by other rashes can be made easily, but the diagnosis of the psoriasis with single joint involvement be rather difficult.
In the event that psoriasis cause an appearance of widespread rashes and flaking like dandruff, it may also lead to several complaints such as fever, hypothermia, chills and fatigue.
What should psoriasis patients pay attention to?
Should not use any unnecessary medication.
Should eat healthily.
Should avoid from alcohol and smoking.
Should maintain the ideal body weight.
Should be treated immediately in the event of infection occurrence such as; tooth decay or sinusitis.
Should exercise regularly.
Should learn stress management to cope with stress.
Should avoid excessive sun
Should be a person who is at peace with the world and life.
What is the role of the immune system in psoriasis?
Immune system is composed of defence cells to protect body against diseases. By functional disruption of those cells, certain diseases occur. In psoriasis, abnormal function of the immune cells leads to a stimulation and rapid proliferation process in the skin cells.
Yet, it is not clear that causes of the abnormal function of immune system and the stimulation for skin cells, certain triggering factors are already known to have a role in that process.