Immunity Disorders – What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis (p – silent) is an autoimmune disease. This disease occurs when one of the main features of the immune system – recognition between self and non-self is compromised.

Psoriasis of the hairline and of the scalp

What happens in Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease of the skin, including the scalp.

Now. we all know that we keep shedding skin periodically as an immunity measure for the body. See, our skin functions like a baked self puffing puffed pastry that reproduces on its own so that you never run out of it.So like multiple layers of pastry in puff pastry, our skin too has and at any given time, keeps producing skin cell layers that is epidermal layers.

When cells of the first layer are shed, the second layer is already beneath it and it’s as if nothing happened. Since this takes place on a microscopic level, we do not notice it.

However, in psoriasis, our brain gets confused and identifies our own skin as a potential threat to our body. Therefore, the previously discussed T cells attack our skin at various points on our body.

This causes a major inflammation and in order the heal the damage, the skin undergoes rapid (extremely rapid as if on jet mode) growth which leads to over accumulation of skin layers or extremely densely layered puff pastry. Since the upper layers haven’t been shed yet and there are already multiple layers formed, the skin  appear scaly and reddish at various places like a rash.

Having such rashes all over the body due to major confusion in our immune system is known as psoriasis.

Causes of Psoriasis

Exact causes are not known yet but they are said to genetic or the condition is triggered due to some bacterial attack like strep throat or environmental factors or even stress. People who are HIV-positive too often have psoriasis.

Symptoms of Psoriasis

Psoriasis – pitted fingernails

People afflicted with Psoriasis exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Rashes
  • Scaly red inflamed skin
  • Flaky scalp and skin
  • Pitted fingernails

Treatment of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is caused by immune system, hence drugs like methotrexate and cyclosporin are used. Sometimes, drugs like infliximab and adalimumab are used.

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