In a nutshell, the definition of psoriasis is that it is a chronic (long lasting and recurring) skin condition that usually causes dry, round, patches on the skin that are covered with white, silvery or gray scales. By conventional standards, this condition is incurable although there are many holistic approaches that claim to be able to cure this condition.
Such is life unfortunately. 1 to 3 percent of the world’s population has this condition. It is relatively uncommon but can still occur in Asia and Africa. This is one of the most common skin conditions so you are no alone if you are plagued by psoriasis.
It affects both men and women, young and old but it usually strikes between the ages of 20 and 50 though it can certainly start in infancy.
Oh the mystery…
Although this is one of the most common skin conditions, there is still so much that remains unknown about this condition especially since no two cases are ever the same. There are no absolutes with psoriasis.
- It can be severe or mild,
- The causes remain unknown,
- Treatment that may work for one may not work for another,
- There are many types of psoriasis,
- It can produce few patches one day and many patches over the body the very next day,
- It can strike in old age or it can appear in infancy,
- And so on and so forth making each case of psoriasis unique.
The Skin as the Battleground
The skin is the largest organ of the body and has many functions. While the cause of psoriasis remains unknown, many researchers define psoriasis as a malfunction in the way the skin grows and regenerates.
In normal healthy skin, there is a turnover of skin over a 30 day period. There are many layers to the skin with the old skin cells on the top of the skin being shed continuously from the epidermis (top layer of skin) and then replaced by new cells in the lower layers of skin during this 30 day period.
With psoriasis, this skin turnover occurs at a abnormally faster rate such as three or four days. With skin cells growing and moving to the surface of the skin at a faster rate, cells are also dying at a faster rate too.
This speeded up growth rate leads to skin piling up on top of each other leading to scaly patches that are known as plaques. While there are many types of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis is the most common. These plaques can appear anywhere on the body but are common on the scalp, knees, elbows, lower back and knuckles.
When psoriasis appears, some people may experience severe itching and burning while others will not experience any itching or burning.
Is Psoriasis Hereditary?
While the reason for this abnormal cell growth remains a mystery, many researchers believe that it may be hereditary. This is another aspect of psoriasis that is a mystery because while hereditary factors may be at play, this chronic skin condition can also appear when there isn’t any family history.
Even when there is family history, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will develop this condition even when both of your parents have this condition. What sets the trigger off is still a mystery.
Is Psoriasis Contagious?
Psoriasis is not contagious.
While there currently is no cure, various treatment methods may offer you some relief from the symptoms of psoriasis including various natural psoriasis treatments including this. It can be very frustrating when you try treatment after treatment with no luck but though you want to, do not give up. If you are persistent, you shall find the treatment(s) that will work for you and help you overcome this condition once and for all.