Are you aware that psoriasis affects nearly 125 million people worldwide? The auto-immune disease can be both physically and mentally daunting for the person suffering from it. It can also force the patient to go into isolation and depression because of the stigma attached with the condition. Most of us are completely ignorant of the disease, and the extent to which it can affect the patient. Here are five less known facts about psoriasis that you should know.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease where extra skin cells build up forming scales and itchy, sore patches. It is a common skin condition in which the life cycle of skin cells speedup. Most patients prefer to wear long sleeves, high collars, and long pants to hide their skin lesions.
Is it hereditary?
Psoriasis is a misunderstood disease. It is a genetic disease, and is not caused due to infection from bacteria or virus. Psoriasis is not at all contagious. It gets triggered due to an imbalance in your immune system, and thus causes chronic inflammation.
What are the symptoms?
One of the most common symptom of psoriasis is red flaky patches on the skin. Psoriasis can be seen anywhere on the body but it usually develops on your legs, ankles, elbows or back. The patient might have red, raised, inflamed patches on skin. There could be silver-white scales or plaques on the red patches. The condition can worsen to such an extent that the dry skin may crack and bleed along with soreness around the patches. It is often accompanied with itching and burning sensations.
Some patients also complain of swelling and pain in the joints. At times, symptoms may flare up suddenly due to dry climate, injury, high stress levels or even some type of medication.
Is there a permanent cure?
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for psoriasis, and treatment is the only way out to keep the condition under control. The best thing you can do is avoid things that you know will cause a flare-up.
Does it increase the risk of diabetes?
The inflammation caused by psoriasis raises the level of an insulin-like growth factor which is also linked to diabetes. People with psoriasis are 56 percent more susceptible to diabetes than those without. They are also prone to ulcer, psoriatic arthritis, heart diseases and obesity.
Can stress make it worse?
It is known that emotional wellbeing is linked with physical health. But did you know that emotional upsurge and stress have a link with skin? Even as psoriasis and other skin diseases are mostly physiological in nature, it could worsen if you are leading a stressful life. Some people experience first flare of psoriasis during the most stressful period.
Does it lead to depression?
Psoriasis not only affects skin, but also significantly impacts a person’s quality of life. The stigma attached to this illness may cause emotional distress in the form of anxiety and depression. It can further worsen the condition, leading to severe psoriatic flares. A 2015 study presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting indicated that psoriasis patients might have an increased risk of depression. According to their study, about 16.5 percent of 12,382 adult patients were found to be affected with depression.