Psoriasis is an incurable skin disease, afflicting more than 7.5 million people in the United States. Symptoms of the disease vary from patient to patient but more common ones include pain, itching, burning and soreness. Dry skin can be chafed and may even bleed. Psoriasis may only cover small areas of the body or wide expanses of skin. Psoriasis usually strikes around 15 to 35 years of age, but there is no guarantee and can occur at any age. Majority of patients will have signs and symptoms before hitting 40. The earlier this skin disease occurs, the more areas it will affect.
Psoriasis can annoy the patient as this disease can leave them disfigured and deformed. Since it affects the skin, it affects appearance of the patient in general. At times patients might feel conscious and embarrassed also.
Psoriasis is recognizable by red lesions that are covered with silver-white scales. These plaques can appear on the knees, scalp, lower back and elbows, but it can occur anywhere on the body. It commonly occurs on symmetrical parts of the body. Most people experience the disease in cycles. At a point of time, their scars will flare up and remain there for some time, generally for a week. Then patients experience a general decline of symptoms and scars. Since psoriasis is a chronic disease, it does recur, in the same pattern. Thus it can be a very frustrating to live with, has negative cosmetic affect and cannot be cured.
Many doctors believe that psoriasis is caused due to trauma to skin while others believe that it is caused due to stress. But researchers and doctors agree that the main cause has to do with a genetic predisposition to the disease. Not only does the cause of this disease remain relatively unknown, it is also quite difficult to diagnose psoriasis since at first it looks like any other skin disease. Dermatologist thus takes skin sample under the microscope to determine whether or not it is psoriasis.
Since no cure has been found for this chronic disease, it impacts the patient emotionally. Day to day activities such as getting hair done, going out to meet people, wearing short sleeve tops, etc. becomes tedious. Patients become apprehensive and has also been seen that there is a big chance of patients going into depression. In such cases counseling and therapy is recommended, as patients battling psoriasis would need to learn how to live with the disease.
Psoriasis is frustrating, but patients should keep a positive attitude and try and not let the disease take over their lives.
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