Psoriasis is a dermatological disease that has been mismanaged for centuries before its mechanism was well understood and effective medications were introduced. There are 5 main subtypes of psoriasis depending on how they look which are: guttate, plaque, pustular, inverse and erythrodermic psoriasis. The mechanism responsible for the formation of psoriasis has been proven to be autoimmune with a significant genetic component, and this is why it commonly runs in families. This genetic defect causes an increased rate of division of skin cells called keratinocytes which aren’t given enough time to mature resulting in the characteristic appearance of silver scales over red areas. The red is the inflammation and the scales are the shed immature skin cells.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition that has no ultimate cure with most modern therapies aiming at causing a remission and abating symptoms. Psoriasis clinical research is advancing rapidly, however, and I won’t be surprised if we could find an ultimate cure within our lifetimes.
How to treat psoriasis?
Since psoriasis is an autoimmune mediated skin condition, most medications given tend to suppress that autoimmune reaction, decrease inflammation as well as reduce the complications known to occur. Psoriasis can be managed by a combination of different classes of medications in some cases to achieve optimal results.
Psoriasis treatment also depends on the morphological type of the disease which can require different classes of drugs in some cases. The loss of the skin function can be severe since the skin is an important barrier between our internal and external environment and many complications can result from such disruption especially in case of pustular, generalized and guttate psoriasis. Plaque and scalp psoriasis are usually mild and most patients don’t present with the lesions but can be discovered accidently.