Psoriasis isn’t simply a skin rash that’s inconvenient or not pretty to look at; it’s an auto immune disease that comes out as a red, scaly rash that can be itchy, sore and uncomfortable. Psoriasis is the most common auto immune disease in America, affecting 7.5 million people of every age.
- Psoriatic Arthritis – Approximately 30% of those with Psoriasis will have it develop into Psoriatic Arthritis. Psoriatic Arthritis affects your joints, often before signs are visible.
- Stress – Like many auto-immune disease, stress can bring on a flare-up or exacerbation of the disease. This means that you may have Psoriasis without yet realizing it; as there may be no outward signs of the disease such as a skin rash or swelling until a stressful situation causes the flare-up.
- Medications – Some medications can actually cause Psoriasis to flare up; including some beta blockers, Lithium, and many more. If you notice any type of rash, redness or swelling it is important to seek professional help even if it doesn’t end up being Psoriasis.
- Infections – It is very common for anyone experiencing an infection to have their first flare-up of Psoriasis. Anything from an ear infection to a respiratory infection can cause your first flare up to occur.
Your Immune System and Psoriasis
There is an obvious connection between your immune system and Psoriasis. A normal body system easily produces and/or replaces cells throughout the body; however, when you have an auto-immune disease your body doesn’t do the job the way it’s meant to.
- Skin Cells – When you have Psoriasis your body produces skin cells too quickly; thereby creating inflamed skin that is commonly associated with the disease.
- Activated T-Cells – It is not know why activated T-cells appear in the skin cells of those with Psoriasis. Because of these activated T-cells, Psoriasis is often referred to as a T-Cell Mediated Disease. (To understand what T-cells are, click the underlined word T-cells above).
- Genes – As an auto-immune disease Psoriasis has certain genes in common with other auto-immune diseases, such as Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Chronic Disease – Both Psoriatic Arthritis and Psoriasis are considered chronic diseases. Chronic diseases worsen over time; with periods of time when the disease doesn’t seem to change much and can evenly possibly seem to look better.
The Impact of Psoriasis in Your Life
Any disease has an impact on your quality of life. The main symptom of Psoriasis is easy to see and not only affects your quality of life because of constant pain, itching and uncomfortableness, but; because of the unsightliness of the Psoriasis itself people often feel like they have to make many lifestyle changes.
If your Psoriasis affects your quality of life and forces you to make changes, know that there are some options available to help keep the disease managed. Should you end up being affected in ways that make everyday tasks difficult, hiring someone to help you with these tasks is always an option. Psoriasis is manageable.
National Psoriasis Foundation