The symptoms

  • Red and itchy scaling plaques.
  • Scaly and white silvery patches.
  • Joint swelling.
  • Stiffness or pain in case of psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune condition that causes a rapid build of the skin cells that results in scaling, as the body makes new skin cells in days instead of weeks. This fast build-up of cells results in the formation of scaly patches (plaques) on the skin.

Psoriasis tends to be a lifelong disease, and it is necessary to consult a certified dermatologist to control this disease and achieve a clear skin. It is essential to know what factors trigger psoriasis before deciding the course of treatment. One must opt for a healthy lifestyle, and good skincare routine as psoriasis can increase the risk of developing certain other diseases. As people suffering from psoriasis are more prone to cause obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases.

As mentioned earlier, it is an autoimmune disorder, therefore it occurs because of some changes in the immune system. T cells (white blood cells) protect the body from disease and infections. When these T cells become overactive and set other immune responses, it leads to psoriasis.

An individual suffering from psoriasis may also have to deal with low self-esteem because of their diminished skin appearance. Psoriasis is not contagious and can be controlled with proper medication and treatment. Our skin specialists at Dermaworld Skin Clinics can help chalk out an individualised plan for Psoriasis treatment in Delhi.

The treatment for psoriasis is determined based on the severity of psoriasis, and the area of the skin affected. The doctor will first provide with mild treatments, like the application of topical creams, and further with stronger treatment.

Diagnosis

1. The doctor will conduct a physical examination of the skin, nails, scalp and will also look into the medical history (recent immunisation, family history of psoriasis, immunosuppressive conditions like HIV) of the affected individual.

2. Skin biopsy is also conducted to determine the exact type of psoriasis.

Sometimes, psoriasis can be mistaken with other conditions, so additional tests are also performed to exclude other possible causes. This helps to avoid misdiagnosis. The patient must also keep a record of their symptoms.

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Types of Psoriasis

  • 1

    Plaque psoriasis: It causes red, silvery-white dry, scaly skin patches. Psoriasis mostly affects body areas such as the back, scalp, knees, and elbows. Patches can be 1 to 10 centimetres wide, and scratching can worsen this condition.

  • 2

    Nail psoriasis: It is characterised by crumbling, pitting, grooves, and lifting of the nail plate, as well as white or yellow-red discolouration occurs. Sometimes, it is often confused with fungal infections and other nail infections.

  • 3

    Guttate psoriasis: It mostly starts from childhood, and appears as small or drop-shaped red spots on the skin. They can appear on the face and scalp, and the spots are not as thick as in case of plaque psoriasis. If proper treatment is not provided, it can convert into plaque psoriasis. Strep throat, stress, bacterial infection, and certain medications can also trigger guttate psoriasis. If guttate psoriasis is caused by a bacterial infection, then antibiotics can help to manage this condition.

  • 4

    Inverse psoriasis: It is also called flexural psoriasis, and it mainly affects the areas of the skin such as groin area, armpits, under the breast area, and between the buttocks. Sometimes it is also misdiagnosed as fungal or bacterial infection and makes the skin to skin contact uncomfortable. It most commonly occurs in overweight people. This psoriasis is often red, moist, shiny, and smooth in appearance.

  • 5

    Pustular psoriasis: It is a severe form of psoriasis and develops in the form of white pus-filled pustules that surround the red skin. The pus is non-infectious and can cause flu-like symptoms such as chills, muscle weakness, fever, and rapid pulse. It mostly affects the body’s isolated areas like hands and feet or affects most of the skin’s surface.

  • 6

    Scalp psoriasis: It is most common with people suffering from plaque psoriasis. It is often painful, itchy, and is noticeable at the hairline. Excessive scratching can also cause other scalp problems and hair loss. It can also affect the ears, neck, and face.

Best Psoriasis Treatments

Psoriasis treatments in Delhi provided by Dermaworld Skin Clinics help to reduce inflammation and achieve clear skin. These include:

1. Topical treatment:

  • Over the counter (OTC) moisturisers after showers and baths help the skin to keep moisture and prevent flaking of the skin. However, it does not help treat inflammation.
  • Certain low dose corticosteroid creams and ointments also control excessive production of skin cells and soothe the skin.
  • Coal tar creams and ointments help to reduce inflammation and scaling. But coal tar is messy and can stain clothing and bedding.
  • Medicated shampoos help to treat scalp psoriasis.

2. Light therapy

Also known as phototherapy, this method involves exposing the affected area to a controlled amount of natural light or artificial ultraviolet light.

Providing natural light to the skin with a limited amount of sunlight helps to improve psoriasis by slowing down the skin cell turnover. It also reduces inflammation and scaling. Intense exposure to sunlight can also cause the worsening of symptoms and can cause skin damage.

Ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy method helps to slow down the production of skin cells. It can be used to treat single or widespread psoriasis patches which do not respond well to topical treatments.

3. Excimer Laser

This laser helps to treat mild to moderate psoriasis. These lasers provide a concentrated beam of UVB light which only targets the patches of psoriasis, and not the surrounding skin. It is useful in treating small patches.

4. Pulsed dye laser

It destroys the tiny blood vessels that surround the psoriasis plaques and reduce cell growth by cutting off the blood flow in that area.

Psoriasis management on a personal level

Along with the treatments, our skin specialists suggest some self-care tips to reduce dryness and control flare-ups and worsening of psoriasis. Such as:

  • One must apply a good moisturising cream as it can help to reduce dryness and itching. It must be immediately applied after taking a bath to lock moisture in the skin.
  • Quit smoking and avoid products that can irritate the skin.
  • Wear skin-friendly and loose clothing that does not rub psoriasis affected area.
  • Eat a healthy diet, and try to reduce stress.


Dr. Rohit Batra, an MD (Dermatology,
Venereology & Leprology), is an adult,
pediatric and cosmetic dermatologist
& dermato-surgeon based at New Delhi.


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