1. Psoriasis is a persistent skin disorder in which there are red, thickened areas with silvery scales, most often on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Some cases, of psoriasis are so mild that people don’t know they have it. Severe psoriasis may cover large areas of the body..
2. Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another, but it is most likely to occur in members of the same family.
3. The cause is unknown. However, recent discoveries point to an abnormality in the functioning of special white cells (T-Cells) which trigger inflammation and the immune response in the skin. Because of the inflammation, the skin grows too rapidly. Normally, the skin replaces itself in about 30 days, but in psoriasis, the process speeds up and replaces the skin in three to four days, and the signs of psoriasis develop.
4. People often notice new spots 10 to 14 days after the skin is cut, scratched, rubbed, or severely sunburned (Koebner Phenomenon). Psoriasis can also be activated by infections, such as strep throat, and by certain medicines (beta blockers, lithium, etc.) Flare-ups sometimes occur in the winter, as a result of dry skin and lack of sunlight.
5. Types of Psoriasis : Psoriasis comes in many forms. Each differs in severity, duration, location, shape, and pattern of the scales. The most common form, called plaque psoriasis, begins with little red bumps. Gradually, these become larger, and scales form. While the top scales flake off easily and often, scales below the surface stick together. These small red areas can enlarge. Scalp, elbows, knees, legs, arms, genitals, nails, palms, and soles are the areas most commonly affected by psoriasis. It will often appear in the same place on both sides of the body. Scalp psoriasis may be mistaken for dandruff. Nails with psoriasis frequently have tiny pits in them. Nails may loosen, thicken, or crumble, and are difficult to treat. People with psoriasis may have symptoms of arthritis
6. Dermatologists diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, nails, and scalp. If the diagnosis is in doubt, a skin biopsy may be helpful.
How is psoriasis treated by a Dermatologist?
§ Moisturizing creams and lotions loosen scales and help control itching. Special diets have not been successful in treating psoriasis, except in isolated cases. Treatment is based on a patient’s health, age, lifestyle, and the severity of the psoriasis. Different types of treatments and several visits to your dermatologist may be needed.
§ The goal is to reduce inflammation and to control shedding of the skin.Your dermatologist may prescribe medications to apply on the skin containing cortisone compounds, synthetic vitamin D analogues, retinoids (vitamin A derivative), tar, or anthralin, methotrexate etc. These may be used in combination with natural sunlight or ultraviolet light. The more severe forms of psoriasis may require oral or injectable medications with or without light treatment.
§ Sunlight exposure helps the majority of people with psoriasis but it must be used cautiously.
§ Something special about use of steroids(cortisone) told by skin specialist is — Cortisone is a medication that reduces inflammation. Cortisone creams, ointments, and lotions may clear the skin temporarily and control the condition in many patients. Side effects of the stronger cortisone preparations include thinning of the skin, dilated blood vessels, bruising, and skin color changes. Stopping these medications suddenly may result in a flare-up of the disease. After many months of treatment, the psoriasis may become resistant to the steroid preparations.
NOW, how homeopathy tackles a patient with psoriasis?
§ First of all, aim is not to allay the symptoms or to treat the disease as such, but to treat the individual suffering from psoriasis. A thorough case history is taken considering his present complaints, past medical history, hereditary tendencies, desires and aversions in food, drink, temperature and weather, his mental status-during illness and otherwise etc. After analysis of the information obtained, a homeopathic remedy is started to boost his immune system so as enhance the self healing powers of the body.
§ Few close photographs of the lesions at an interval of 3 to 4 months may prove helpful to make a thorough comparison of the improvements while treatment is going on.
§ It is difficult to predict the time needed to cure but “lesions should start appearing less intensely and less frequently” is a sure sign of diminishing disease activity and better repair processes of the body.
§ Patient already on strong allopathic medicines, especially steroids are advised to start the homeopathic treatment side by side. When improvements are significant enough, they are advised to gradually withdraw allopathic medicines.
Improvement in other associated problems is also indirect sign of better self healing powers of the body. Normalization of stool, appetite and stamina is also a sign of improving health.