When you or someone you know is diagnosed with psoriasis, it will unfortunately change you or that persons life physically because of the awful looking lesions that will suddenly appear on the skin. And just as importantly, it will influence how you work and play, as well as how you view yourself and interact with others.
What Is The Cause Of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is one of the oldest known skin conditions recorded. There is documentation that the first described symptoms of these skin lesions were around 35 AD. Some further evidence indicates even earlier dates. Yet, until recently, for some reason, very little was known about the cause and cure of psoriasis.
While scientists do not yet know the full reason why and what causes psoriasis, recent research has significantly advanced the understanding of this condition. One of the most significant breakthroughs began with the discovery that most kidney transplant recipients, who had cases of psoriasis experienced clearing of the lesions when taking cyclosporine. As cyclosporine is a potent immuno-suppressive drug, the immune system is involved as well.
Are Genetics The Cause Of Psoriasis?
Is it due to family history? Some who have had a family history of psoriasis, never develop the condition. Research has found that a “trigger” is required for activation. Some potential triggers include: a skin injury, stress and anxiety, a strep infection, certain medications and sunburn, just to name a few. Some of the medications that are known to trigger psoriasis are: beta blockers (medication to treat high blood pressure as well as heart conditions), anti-malarial drugs and lithium. Dermatologists have reported seeing psoriasis suddenly appear on the skin after a patient has taken one of these drugs, or gets a strep infection.
Phototherapy Treatments For Psoriasis
Phototherapy treatment involves exposing the affected skin to wavelengths of ultraviolet light, under strict medical supervision. These treatments usually take place at the doctor’s office or a psoriasis clinic. It is possible however, to now do a treatment regimen from home, with a unit prescribed by a doctor. The main key to success using phototherapy is consistency.
Is Psoriasis Considered Contagious?
No, psoriasis is not contagious. You can not catch psoriasis from another affected person who has psoriasis or spread it to someone else by touching them. You can not even spread it to other parts of your body.
For years now, those with psoriasis had several options that were either too time consuming or had bad side effects. However, new scientific research such as biologics is offering alternative treatments that may help people not only manage the disease, but also clears psoriasis for months, years or even permanently.