Plaque psoriasis: definition, causes and treatment
What plaque psoriasis looks like and what symptoms it has at different stages. Causes of the disease and factors that can provoke it. The main methods and drugs used to treat psoriasis, as well as a list of prevention rules to ease symptoms and prolong remission.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease, which occurs in about 80% of patients with psoriasis and is manifested by specific rashes (plaques) covered with a large number of scales. Other names: classic, ordinary or psoriasis vulgaris, psoriasis psoriasis.
The standard manifestations of the disease are plaques and papules. These are slightly raised reddish rashes that are localized in a certain area. In some cases, the rash comes out in places that are most often subject to mechanical irritation: bends of the knees and elbows, neck area, armpits and inguinal folds. Lesions can vary in size. At the beginning of the disease, they are located separately, but in the course of development they tend to unite with each other.
Further on how to recognize plaque psoriasis, photo symptoms, rules for prevention and treatment.
Causes of plaque psoriasis
The causes and origin of the disease are unknown. Different experts tend to different theories. However, it is reliably known that people with certain disorders are predisposed to psoriasis. The risk group includes the following people:
with a genetic predisposition. If one of the relatives suffered from psoriasis, there is a high probability of getting this disease by inheritance.
With an unstable nervous system. And also prone to frequent stress. Constant emotional upheavals greatly affect the functioning of the immune system. This weakens the body and makes it susceptible to all sorts of diseases. Psoriasis is no exception.
with endocrine disorders. For example, with diabetes.
With hormonal imbalance. The hormonal background is often disturbed in adolescents, as well as in pregnant and lactating women.
Symptoms of plaque psoriasis
Unknowing people can easily confuse psoriasis with another disease. For example, with a simple allergy, which can have similar characteristic symptoms in the form of redness of the skin and severe peeling. However, psoriasis has its own characteristics:
The spots have a rounded and slightly convex shape, slightly rising above the general skin surface.
The top of the rash is covered with silvery scales. It can be easily removed by simple mechanical action. However, as a result of this, the skin is injured and begins to bleed. In addition, soon the peeling appears again.
What plaque psoriasis looks like can be judged from numerous photographs. However, do not self-diagnose. This should be done by a dermatologist.
In different periods of exacerbations, the rash can appear in different places. If each time it is localized in one place and persists for a long time, it is called “duty plaques”. Most often, with psoriasis, plaques on duty appear in the area of the knees and elbows.
There are also three degrees of severity of psoriasis:
Light. Less than 3% of the skin surface is affected.
Average. The rash affected up to 10% of the body.
Heavy. More than 10% of the body is affected.
To assess the severity of psoriasis, you can also use special indices, such as the PASI scale.
Sometimes extensive plaque psoriasis does not have red formations, but pale pink ones.
Stages of plaque psoriasis
There are three key stages of psoriasis:
Initial or progressive. On some skin areas, you can notice the appearance of rashes of a reddish hue. Depending on their size, they are called papules or plaques. They are small and located separately from each other. Subsequently, they begin to increase in size. Sometimes there is itching or burning. On the Internet you can look at pictures of psoriasis, pictures of plaques will show the symptoms better than the description.
Stationary. New rashes do not appear at this stage, old ones may increase in size. Some of them merge with neighboring ones, forming larger formations. Over the rash, you can notice abundant peeling. Peeling scales have a silvery tint and are densely arranged.
Last or regressive. Gradually, the spots fade and disappear altogether. The peeling also goes away. After the rash disappears, a pigmented area or a slightly lighter area may remain compared to the surrounding skin.
All three stages are repeated in the above sequence. However, if treatment is started early, it is possible to stop the disease at the first stage or significantly reduce all three stages. For clarity, you can see the photo of common plaque psoriasis at different stages.
Since psoriasis is a chronic disease, its course is cyclical: outbreaks of rashes alternate with periods of remission. The duration of the latter depends on the characteristics of the patient’s body, his lifestyle and the quality of treatment.
Treatment of plaque psoriasis
Since psoriasis is incurable, the key goal of treatment is to reduce and eliminate symptoms, as well as increase the duration of remission. With a competent approach, it is possible to ensure that the disease will not bother for several years.
In all cases of plaque psoriasis, the doctor determines how to treat the disease. Typically, therapy is complex and includes the following areas:
Systemic drugs. The most commonly used agents that reduce the activity of the immune system ( immunosuppressants ) or drugs that slow down the rate of division of skin cells ( retonoids ). Indications for the appointment of these funds is the severe course of psoriasis and the lack of effect from other types of treatment.
External agents are used for any severity of psoriasis. They not only fight inflammation, but also soften and moisturize the skin, promote skin repair. Topical medications can be non-hormonal and hormonal ( glucocorticosteroids ). The duration of treatment and the necessary preparations are selected by a dermatologist.
Physiotherapy. Procedures such as magnetotherapy, exposure to UV rays and an excimer laser, PUVA therapy, electrosleep, and magnetic laser exposure are used.
Diet. Sweets and pastries, too salty and spicy foods, smoked meats, everything fatty and fried are removed from the diet. The patient is advised to drink more water, as well as consume more fresh raw vegetables. Cigarettes and alcohol should be avoided. The correct menu is one of the most important components in treatment.
Vitamins. Most often, vitamin A and D3 can be prescribed, but these drugs can only be taken after a laboratory examination.
Medicines are used not only during exacerbations, but also during remission. However, the preparations will differ. It is not recommended to remove plaques on your own with psoriasis.
Help with folk remedies
The main course of treatment can be supplemented with folk recipes. However, they cannot completely replace drugs. Firstly, homemade recipes are too ineffective and unable to cope with the rash, and secondly, they can aggravate the symptoms due to the unpredictable reaction of the body to the components.
In psoriasis, plaque treatment is carried out mainly locally .
It is important to remember that many natural ingredients are strong allergen irritants. Therefore, before resorting to any of the folk methods, it is necessary to consult with your doctor. It is optimal to use homemade recipes only in the first stages of the development of the disease.
All three drugs can be used for plaque psoriasis.
All products have been developed taking into account the characteristics and needs of people with psoriasis. The line has passed all the necessary clinical trials and has established itself as a good addition to the main therapy.
Prevention of plaque psoriasis
The key objectives of prevention are to reduce the frequency of exacerbations and weaken the external manifestations of the disease.
To do this, you must adhere to the following recommendations:
During water procedures, it is important to use only non-rigid towels and washcloths. so as not to damage the skin.
After taking a bath, moisturizers are applied to the skin. This will retain the necessary moisture and prevent dryness of the epidermis.
At the very beginning of remission, it is recommended to use moisturizing and softening ointments for plaque psoriasis for the first time .
In everyday life, any injury to the skin should be avoided. Even small scratches can cause a rash. To protect the skin, it is recommended to wear loose-fitting clothing made from natural materials, and to wear gloves when cleaning and washing dishes.
The room in which the patient is often located must be regularly ventilated. Especially at night. Also, there must be a sufficient level of humidity. Air conditioning is undesirable because it makes the air dry.
It is advisable to monitor the state of your immunity, drink vitamins and beware of infectious diseases.
You can’t overwork. Both physically and psychologically. Stress and emotional upheaval will bring harm.
It is necessary to prevent hypothermia or overheating, as well as protect the skin from sunlight .
Avoid cigarettes and alcohol.
It is important to follow the rules of nutrition for psoriasis. Such a diet must be followed throughout life.
If you take a responsible approach to treatment and prevention, psoriasis will make itself felt much less frequently.