Psoriasis, as we know the skin condition today, is known for its red, crusty or scaly appearance, and the annoyingly itchy sensation that comes with it. It comes as the result of faulty immune responses that affect the process of cell turnover.
Common in adults under 35 years old, what happens is that the length of period for skin renewal is cut short—from the normal length of one month to a few days—causing an overproduction of skin cells and the abnormal build-up or the visible patches on the surface.
Get a deeper understanding of the skin condition with these factoids on Psoriasis.
What is the origin of the word “psoriasis”?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that afflicts people of all ages. It is known for its red, crusty or scaly appearance and the deep, itchy sensation that comes with it. This condition comes as a result of faulty immune responses that affect the process of skin cell turnover.
Evidence of this disease was recorded in ancient times. Greek doctors like Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) and Galen (133-200 A.D.) were amongst the first to observe this disease and give it a name, from the Greek words psora (to itch) and sis (condition): psoriasis.
What’s it like to have psoriasis
Psoriasis can appear at any age, starting in one’s teens, and reappear again throughout one’s lifetime, usually as a result of some trigger. Many report that stress, infection, skin injury, and hormonal changes can trigger a flare-up of psoriasis.
In a person who suffers from psoriasis, something in their immune system causes their skin renewal process to go into overdrive. The body begins to overproduce skin cells in a short period of time, eventually forming several layers that look like dry, whitish or silvery patches on the surface of the skin.
These patches are seen in joint areas like knees and elbows but can appear on hands, feet, arms, and even on the scalp and face.
It’s chronic, but not contagious
One of the most common misconceptions about psoriasis is that it’s contagious. It’s not.
Psoriasis patches appear white and can often feel swollen, itchy, and sore. They may crack and bleed. But one does not catch psoriasis by being in contact with someone who has it.
Medical experts still don’t know the exact cause of this illness, which originates in the immune system but are looking into what causes the faulty signals that interfere with cell turnover. Genetic predisposition seems to be another factor.
Psoriasis is believed to affect as many as 100 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. And if a parent has psoriasis, one of their children has a 10 percent chance of developing the skin condition.
Treatment for psoriasis
There is no known modern cure for psoriasis. But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do to control or manage it. You should do something about it.
Leaving psoriasis untreated raises the risk of other health conditions such as diabetes, heart attack, depression and obesity. There’s also the risk of psoriatic arthritis, a persistent and disabling illness that requires aggressive treatment and medication.
In countries with deep histories of traditional medicine like India and the Philippines, symptoms of psoriasis have been treated using Moringa (malunggay), which is antiseptic, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory.
Psoriasis and its flare-ups can be controlled with deeply-moisturizing moringa oil. Use every day after a bath or as needed to soothe itch and provide moisture for cracked, dry skin, and scalp.