There are different theories about what causes of psoriasis. None have been empirically or otherwise proven to be the cause of this burdensome disease. Some evidence suggests that it is polygenically hereditary or at least familial as some patients appear within the same families. The most frequently mentioned HLA types with psoriasis are HLA-B13, HLA-B17 and HLA-Cw6. A relatively small percentage of people are affected with it, but for those who are, life can be miserable without relief. Psoriasis has no gender preference, attacking men and women at the same rate.
Pathogenesis Of Psoriasis
A determination has been made that psoriasis may be the result of a complement-mediated process in the stratum corneum, which is the outermost layer of the epidermis. When there is damage to this layer by some type of injury, antibodies may form as a natural process of the body’s reaction to some damage.
These antigens may then interact with self-antibodies and activate the complement cascade. This will then result in the activation of neutrophils which then release an enzyme that activates more antigens, starting a cycle of repair and calling for more neutrophils. This process causes the thickening and eventual sloughing off of the old skin while the new skin underneath is still in the formation process. Another theory focuses more on hypersensitivity of cytokine stimulation and receptor expression. Much research still needs to be done to come up with a definitive cause which would probably be very helpful in finding a cure.
Who Is Afflicted With This Disease?
As mentioned, men and women alike can have psoriasis. There are certain ages of onset. The early onset is usually around eight years old in children. In adults, the peak age is about twenty-two years old. Older adults are not spared either. Late onset can be around fifty-five. In the U.S. alone, there are between three to five million people with psoriasis. Indians of North- and South American extraction seem to be spared or have an incident of psoriasis so low that it is statistically insignificant. Low incidents have been reported among Japanese, Eskimos and West Africans as well.
Treatment For Psoriasis
Immunosuppressive drugs can send psoriasis into remission. Obviously, the type of treatment prescribed for a patient will depend on the patient’s age. If the patient is a child, he or she will not be subjected to the same chemical therapy as an adult. Other factors to be considered before making a treatment plan are the type of psoriasis that is to be treated. If plaques are only in specific areas like the palms and the soles, this will be handled differently than when the entire body is involved. Also, the kind of treatment cream a patient had received before must be considered. Several products are available over the counter that have been proven to be effective. Scytera is a tar foam is a popular treatment for psoriasis. Tar has a long history of improving symptoms of psoriasis while reducing reoccurrence.
Other medical conditions present in the patients play a major role in how psoriasis can be treated. The treatment for the mildest kind of psoriasis, when only a few spots on the body are affected, can be implemented by the family doctor. For the rest of the patients with psoriasis, a dermatologist should be seen. Therapy can include; Ultraviolet Light treatment, PUVA or psoralen and ultra violet A radiation treatment, or the use of an immunosuppressant like cyclosporine as well as cancer therapy drugs like methotrexate. Also, many creams and sprays have been shown effective for retarding symptoms. Several ingredients that work especially well are Aloe, seaweed extract, and Borage Oil.