Psoriasis is a long-lasting, non-contagious autoimmune disease that accelerates the growth process of skin cells, leading to raised areas of abnormal skin.
It varies in severity from small localised patches to complete body covering. Psoriasis affects men and women equally. The disease may begin at any age but it mainly occurs in adulthood. In the Western world, 2 to 4% of the population are affected.
Psoriasis is not contagious, hence it cannot be contacted from someone who already has it. It is an autoimmune disorder which occurs when the body’s immune system begins to overreact and attack the normal body cells and tissues. This genetic disease is not fully understood but can be triggered by environmental factors such as climate change, stress and lifestyle practices (alcoholism, cigarette smoking and obesity).
Risk factors stimulating Psoriasis are Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, certain medications, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and being of white European descent.
The types of Psoriasis are Plaque Psoriasis, Guttate Psoriasis,Inverse Psoriasis, Pustular Psoriasis and Erythrodermic Psoriasis.
The symptoms include itchy, scaly, inflammed, red patches of skin which are covered with white scales. The complications of Psoriasis are psoriatic arthritis (which occurs in 10 to 20% of people with psoriasis), lymphomas, cardiovascular disease, Crohn’s disease and depression. There is no actual preventive measure because psoriasis is a genetic disease.
The Laboratory diagnosis is done through skin biopsy or by the microscopic examination and culture of skin scraping samples.
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