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A stitch on time saves nine. In the same way, prompt diagnosis and the proper treatment at the initial stage can prevent psoriasis from becoming severe or chronic. Psoriasis is a skin condition in which an overactive immune system causes skin cells to grow too rapidly and die too soon. The disease may remain mild and localized or progress into psoriatic arthritis if not controlled with timely treatment.
What causes mild psoriasis?
Psychologic stress is considered to be the culprit in triggering psoriasis. It can be due to increased levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone that causes inflammation. Stress-induced inflammation may worsen existing skin lesions and produce new ones.
Psoriatic plaques tend to flare up after exercise or getting overheated during the summer months. Sweating, combined with friction between sweat glands and surrounding tissue, has been commonly triggered psoriasis flares. People with mild psoriasis should avoid extra workout sessions or not take hot showers for two days post-workout/exercise session.
- Skin injuries
Physical trauma like cuts, scrapes, or burns can cause damaged cells near the skin’s surface, resulting in psoriasis. It is more common in people with chronic psoriasis or body parts that experience constant friction like the hands and feet.
- Bacterial infection
Bacterial skin infections like carbuncles, impetigo, or boils lead to psoriasis in some people. Bacteria may invade the plaques made up of dead skin cells and trigger an immune reaction that leads to redness, itching, pain, and inflammation.
- Viral infections
Psoriasis may be triggered by certain viral diseases like herpes simplex virus (cold sores), human papillomavirus, hepatitis c virus, or HIV/AIDS. The condition may worsen during periods of active infection as the immune system tries to fight off the bug. It is advisable to consult a doctor as early as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment in such cases.
What are the most common sites for mild psoriasis?
- Elbows and knees -Â This is also known as flexural psoriasis. It affects men more often than women because their elbows get exposed to friction due to shaving more often than women do. People aged 30-40 years tend to develop this type of psoriasis.
- Scalp -Â Psoriasis on the scalp is also known as psoriatic alopecia or “spot baldness.” It affects people with long-standing plaque psoriasis and may be caused due to prolonged pressure, oily seborrheic dermatitis, or a fungal infection called tinea capitis.
- Fingers and toes –Psoriatic arthritis affecting the fingers and toes is referred to as dactylitis/psoriatic nails/sausage digits. This type of arthritis causes joint swelling paired with pain and tenderness that may persist for months or even years after a first attack or a flare-up.
- Nails –Psoriatic nails have longitudinal ridges that turn upward and curve into a half-moon shape. They may discolor, thicken, become brittle, and crumble easily.
What are the symptoms of mild psoriasis?
Symptoms of mild psoriasis include:
- Patches of thick, inflamed skin with silvery scales on elbows, knees, scalp, or around the navel.
- Patches of thickened skin covered with silvery scales can be itchy and painful in psoriatic arthritis.
- Red patches of irritated skin filled with pus-filled blisters due to ruptured red blood cells while pustular psoriasis.
- Brownish/yellow discoloration of the skin due to dead cells when erythrodermic psoriasis occurs.
- Loss of healthy tissue or nail bed in fingers and toes if left untreated, leading to deformities like arthritis and claw-like fingertips (Hansens’s disease).
The symptoms of mild psoriasis depend on how early the condition is detected and how well it is managed. Mild psoriasis may have signs that are barely visible without a microscope.
What are some common factors that trigger mild psoriasis?
Some common factors that may trigger mild psoriasis include:
- Dry air during cold weather or heating season; use more moisturizer lotion than usual during this time. Dab your hands frequently after washing to avoid cracks. If you have had hand dermatitis, use rubber gloves when doing housework or in harsh environments.
- Cold weather; colder the climate, more the risk of getting psoriasis.
- Stress can also cause an outbreak of psoriasis. People who have just recovered from mental stress may notice skin changes similar to psoriasis on their elbows or knees.
- Infections such as HIV, throat infection, and strep infections trigger new eruptions of plaque-type psoriasis, which later turn into silvery scales on your scalp or near your navel and hips, etc.
- Radiation therapy treating another disease like lymphoma can trigger psoriasis flare-up in some people if not treated with steroids or other medications.
How is mild psoriasis detected?
Skin biopsy -Â A small piece of skin tissue with the affected area scraped or cut off is studied under a microscope for early detection of mild psoriasis.
Blood test -Â The blood sample is taken from the patient can be checked for anti-nuclear antibodies, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein levels, vitamin D levels, etc., which may show elevated markers in patients with mild psoriasis.
What are the treatments for mild psoriasis?
Â The treatments for mild psoriasis include:
- Mild topical steroid creams or ointments: This can be applied to the diseased areas of your skin to reduce inflammation and itching. It reduces the scaling, redness, and thickening of your skin patches. To avoid side effects from steroid creams, your doctor may recommend a nonsteroidal cream or ointment for sensitive areas such as the face, groin, underarms, etc.
- Moisturizing lotions that hydrate dry skin: Use a moisturizer lotion regularly to keep your skin hydrated.
- Cosmetics, such as camouflage creams and powders: These helps hide the red patches of skin due to psoriasis from people around you, but they do not treat the condition from the root. So it is advisable to use them with other treatments mentioned above.
- Medicine pills for mild psoriasis: Your doctor may prescribe calcipotriene ointments or light therapy, which can help reduce outbreaks of mild psoriasis by slowing cell turnover rate on the surface of your skin inside your epidermis. Also, a topical steroid cream can be used along with these medicines for better effect against mild psoriasis.
- Ointments that offer protection from water: You may be advised to use a product like petrolatum jelly before you take a bath or shower. This will protect your skin and keep it moisturized for some more time.
- Topical keratolytic ointments: These ointments softens scaly skin, is used to scale the skin on palms and soles.
- Systemic medications: If your mild psoriatic condition doesn’t respond to topical treatments, your doctor may prescribe some systemic drugs like methotrexate or acitretin.
- Laser treatment: for psoriasis patches is done under local anaesthesia, but the success rate depends on how severe your psoriasis plaques are and how long you have had them.
- Other therapies: that show promising results in treating mild cases of plaque-type psoriasis include phototherapy (light treatment) with methoxsalen (PUVA) or narrowband ultraviolet B (UVB), etc., where the is exposed to controlled doses of
- Coal tar solution: Tar is applied to the affected areas to reduce itching and scaling. It also reduces redness and inflammation caused by psoriasis.
- Calcipotriene cream to help normalize cell turnover: This cream helps reduce scaling and redness of psoriasis plaques.
What are the complications that may arise from mild psoriasis?
The most commonly seen complication from mild cases are:
- Skin irritation and itching:Â Itchiness is a common symptom of mild psoriasis.
- Fingernail damage:Â Repeated scratching of the itchy regions on your skin can cause damage to your fingernails, which may lead to crumbling or loosening from their nail beds. This condition is called paronychia, where the skin around your nails gets infected.
- Psoriasis inversa:Â Mild psoriasis can affect the mucous membranes or internal organs of your body as well, which is known as psoriasis inversa. This condition may cause pain and discomfort because of swelling in those parts.
- Psoriatic arthritis: Mild psoriasis can be a risk factor for developing pustular psoriasis. It may also increase the risk of suffering from psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory form of arthritis that affects your joints and surrounding tissues.
- Depression: Patients who have mild psoriasis are at an increased risk of suffering from depression. It is mainly because of the unsightly scaling and red patches on your skin, which may lead to social phobia.
What are the self-care measures one can follow for mild psoriasis?
- Avoid taking long, hot baths and showers:Â Take short, lukewarm showers instead of resting in a tub full of warm water that further dehydrates your skin. Also, avoid scrubbing your skin vigorously while bathing, as this can irritate your skin condition even more.
- Wear gloves while cleaning: If you have had hand dermatitis in the past. Gloves help protect your hands from irritants and harsh soaps with alkaline pH.
- Use moisturizers:Â You can use a fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, like Cetaphil cream, which will help nourish your skin and keep it smooth and moist without any dryness, patches, or cracks. However, be careful while applying moisturizer on the plaques as this may worsen the condition in some patients.
- Wear clothes made from cotton:Â Cotton fabric absorbs moisture, allowing your skin to breathe and remain calm in hot weather conditions. Also, avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes outdoors to prevent your body from overheating, which is another trigger for aggravating psoriasis symptoms in some people with mild psoriasis cases.
- Avoid picking or scratching at your plaques:Â You can use a sterile needle to remove scales from your skin, but you should stop picking at the plaques to avoid further complications.
- Treat cuts on your skin correctly: Prompt treatment is necessary when you have received injuries on your skin, including scratches and scrapes. Delaying the treatment may lead to bacterial infections of the affected area, which will make it harder for your doctor to treat psoriasis in that region.
- Get enough rest:Â Exercising too much or spending long hours under direct sunlight are both triggers of psoriasis outbreaks in some patients prone to this condition. Hence, try avoiding extreme conditions like over-exercising or staying out longer than usual during peak sunlight hours.
- Be aware of the foods you eat:Â If you have food allergies or intolerances, they can also trigger a psoriasis flare-up. Common dietary triggers of psoriasis include alcohol and caffeine intake, so try avoiding them if necessary.
- Take treatment measures from your dermatologist:Â Treatment measures from your doctor will help control mild psoriasis outbreaks effectively; consider taking homeopathic treatment. Homeopathic treatment for psoriasis is safe and effective, and it helps restore the skin’s natural health by stimulating the growth of new skin cells.
When to consider taking homeopathic treatment for psoriasis?
Usually, patients visit a homeopathy doctor when their psoriasis condition is worse. You can consider taking homeopathy treatment when your psoriasis is mild. A homeopathy doctor would treat you with some remedies that can treat your psoriasis condition from the root cause.
How does homeopathic treatment for psoriasis work?
Your doctor will prescribe some natural ingredients like Sulphur, Natrum Muriaticum, Arsenic Album, and Thuja Occidentalis to help reduce your symptoms and control outbreaks on your skin. Homeopathic doctors first identify the exact symptom pattern exhibited by your body to determine which ingredients should be used in medication. It helps them provide more effective treatment that targets all symptoms of mild psoriasis at once. How long it takes for homeopathic remedies to start working depends on the severity of the condition. Some homeopathic remedies are known to start showing results within days of medication, while some may take up to a month. Homeopathy for psoriasis is safe because the ingredients are not known to cause any side effects. Hence, you can consider taking this treatment even if your skin is susceptible.
What are the benefits of using the homeopathic treatment for eczema?
- No side effects:Â Unlike some chemical medications, homeopathic remedies do not cause any skin reactions such as painful rashes and itching.
- More flexible dosage:Â Homeopathy treatment for psoriasis allows you to take the correct dose of medication needed without worrying about dangerous drug interactions or unwanted side effects.
- No reported drug interactions: Most homeopathic remedies for psoriasis do not interfere with other medications or supplements you are taking. Hence, it is safe to combine homeopathy treatment with your current medication therapy if necessary.
- Faster recovery: Homeopathy for psoriasis is practical and helps speed up recovery time by stimulating the growth of new skin cells.
- Safe during pregnancy: Pregnant women with psoriasis can safely take homeopathy treatment without worrying about negative interactions with the fetus.
- Affordable:Â Homeopathic remedies are highly affordable, allowing you to save money on your regular medication bills.
- Easy administration:Â Homeopathic remedies for psoriasis do not require any injections or surgical procedures before you can start treatment; simply take the recommended dose and get fast relief.
It would help if you visited a registered homeopathy doctor to get the correct medication dosage for your condition. Moreover, most homeopathy clinics offer free initial consultations to help their patients understand how this treatment works. You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy and prevent health complications with long-term use.