Psoriasis Vulgaris

November 12, 2012

Psoriasis Vulgaris

Psoriasis vulgaris is the most common form psoriasis. It is an autoimmune disorder characterized by chronic inflammation of the skin, which manifests as pus-free elevations on plaques of the skin.

Causes

Psoriasis vulgaris occurs when the immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against its own cells and tissues. The inflammatory chemicals released by the immune system cause symptoms of the disease. Exactly what causes the immune system to produce these antibodies and inflammatory chemicals is not known. However, most experts believe that certain environmental factors may trigger the condition in individuals who are genetically prone to it.

Symptoms

The common symptoms of psoriasis vulgaris include red or pink patches on the skin with silvery scales. The patches are common around the elbows and knees. They may also contain pus-free elevations on their surface. They may be thick or thin, large or small. The condition is not life-threatening. However, many people are impacted psychologically as the skin patches alter their physical appearance significantly.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine the skin patches extensively before diagnosing psoriasis vulgaris. Certain tests may be recommended to check for the autoantibodies in your blood.

Treatment

There is no cure for psoriasis vulgaris. The aim of treatment is to control the inflammation and the symptoms associated with it. Some experts believe that calcium deficiency may play a role in psoriasis vulgaris, and thereby, recommend calcium supplements to treat the condition. You should also add vitamin D supplements to your regimen as the vitamin helps in the absorption of calcium. Your body can also make significant amounts of vitamin D when exposed to sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes, three times a week.

Stress can often worsen the symptoms of psoriasis vulgaris. It is important to relax and distract yourself. Exercise can help elevate your mood by producing neurotransmitters known as endorphins. It may also help regulate your overactive immune system. You may also try relaxation exercises such as yoga and meditation.

Healthy diet may also play a role in management of psoriasis. Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. These foods are rich in antioxidants, which protect your immune system from the harmful effects of free oxygen radicals. Avoid starchy foods such as potatoes and refined sugars. These foods may worsen the inflammation in your body.

Your doctor may also recommend corticosteroid or anti-inflammatory creams or medications to manage the condition. He or she may also prescribe immunosuppressant drugs to control the overactive immune system. However, these medications may increase your susceptibility to infections, and therefore, may not be for everyone.

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