What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the body to speed up the skin renewal process, hence it triggers the rapid build up of skin cells.
In adults, the skin renewal process usually takes between 28 and 42 days. However, in people with psoriasis, this process may take just few days.
Is Psoriasis Infectious?
Fortunately, psoriasis is not contagious.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Although it is not yet fully understood. There are two key factors that cause psoriasis:
1. Genetic Predisposition
You are likely to suffer from psoriasis if there is an immediate family member who has been affected by the condition.
2. Immune System
In people who suffer from psoriasis, their T cells mistakenly attack skin cells. This attack causes the acceleration of skin cells renewal.
Is There Any Cure For Psoriasis?
At this moment, it is not yet possible to alter the genetic predisposition to cure psoriasis. However, there are some treatments to manage the symptoms. If you suffer from psoriasis, ask your doctor for the best possible treatment.
How to Reduce Psoriasis Symptoms?
There are some commonly-known external triggers of psoriasis flare ups. By limiting the exposure to these external triggers, it will reduce the frequency of the flare up.
High stress levels may cause the weakening of your immune system and trigger the inflammation in your body. As a result, it can trigger the psoriasis symptoms to flare up.
2. Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
As with high stress levels, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are known to weaken the immune system and trigger the inflammation in your body.
3. Injury and Infection
When your body is injured or fighting off infection, it can weaken your immune system. With a weakened immune system, your body is more prone to inflammation and therefore, it can trigger the flare up.
Certain medications can cause the psoriasis symptoms to flare up. If you are affected by psoriasis, discuss with your doctor before you take propranolol, lithium, anti-malarials, quinidine and indomethacin, as they may trigger the flare up.
The Link Between Psoriasis and Other Diseases
Around 125 million people worldwide, including those 7.5 million people in the US and 1.2 million people in the UK, have been affected by psoriasis. Psoriasis has been associated with other inflammatory conditions such as:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Heart Disease
- Psoriatic Arthritis
Certain type of foods are known to cause inflammation in your body. They can trigger the flare up of psoriasis symptoms and increase the risk for other diseases. Limit the consumption of foods that are high in refined sugar or carbohydrates to help reduce the inflammation in your body and improve the overall health.
To help protect your skin from inflammatory ageing, use skincare products that contain Blue Chamomile or 24-karat Colloidal Gold. Both Blue Chamomile and 24k Colloidal Gold are known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent premature skin ageing.
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Sources: National Psoriasis Foundation; Psoriasis as a human model of disease to study inflammatory atherogenesis, American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2017 May 1: 312(5): H867–H873.