Psoriasis – The causes and the Treatment Modalities

The above mentioned video is a talk by Dr. Renu, the consultant dermatologist at Nu Cosmetic Clinic, about psoriasis. This, as per her, is a condition that most people come with, when the visit skincare clinics and dermatology hospitals.

What is Psoriasis?

Dr. Renu describes Psoriasis, as a wide-spread disease which can affect the skin on any part of your body such as the joints, knees, etc. This is an immune disorder that is genetically mediated. It results in rashes that look like red-coloured or dark-coloured patches that have whitish scales on them. Itching, as she says, may or may not be there. The skin sheds faster and the rashes spread. Generally the rashes seem more visible on the legs and the forearms and sometimes even on the scalp, which look like dandruff.

Causes of Psoriasis:

According to Dr. Renu, the exact cause of psoriasis is not known yet. However, it seems to be related to the immune system. It is mainly due to a malfunction of T cells (a type of white blood cells) that start attacking the healthy skin cells instead of those that are affected by bacteria or virus.

Why these T cells malfunction is not really clear; however, it definitely has something to do with genes. If you have certain genes of psoriasis in you, you have higher chances of getting affected by the disease. Nevertheless, environmental factors also play a role in worsening the condition.

One of the main worries in many people, about psoriasis, Dr. Renu says, is about the disease being spread to others. However, she assures that this is not an infection that is communicable. You can safely interact or even stay with a person who has psoriasis, without any worries of you being affected by the disease.

Treatment Modalities for Psoriasis

Psoriasis, says Dr. Renu, is very much treatable. However, the treatment modalities need to be followed properly to be free from the rashes and any other traces of the disease. The various treatment modalities as described by Dr. Renu are listed below:

  • Ointments: Ointments are generally prescribed in cases where the lesions are very few and the rashes are localized. Steroid ointments are most commonly prescribed. Tacrolimus and calcipotriol are a few others that are suggested. Regular follow-ups are very much necessary here as the ointments can only be prescribed for a specific duration.
  • Oral Medications: For rashes that are spread over multiple areas, Dr. Renu says that they prescribe oral medications such as retinoids and methotrexate. These, she says, target the patient’s immune system and reduce the hyper-reactivity. This type of treatment also requires follow-up and also a few regular blood tests to rule out any side effects and ensure results.
  • Phototherapy: This, as per Dr. Renu, is a procedure where in the patient will be confined to a chamber that emits UV or ultra violet rays. These rays are very effective in targeting the disease and controlling it.
  • Injections: Apart from the above, there are also certain injections such as biologicals that are effective in treating Psoriasis. These however are quite expensive.

These treatment modalities, as per Dr. Renu, can enable a person to enjoy disease-free intervals by controlling psoriasis effectively. However, she says that it is very crucial to go for regular follow-ups and maintain certain things that are suggested to them to ensure there is no recurrence whatsoever.