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Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes scaly, itchy, and some times painful patches on your body’s outer layer of skin. Symptoms can be simply irritating and easily managed with topical treatments, but for those with moderate to severe psoriasis, the disease can be debilitating. Not only is it painful, but it can also cause loss of work and limit your ability to move freely and participate in physical activities. Psoriasis can also have a devastating effect on self-esteem and social relationships.
People with moderate psoriasis are affected on more than 10 percent of their body. Someone who has psoriasis on the soles or palms and can’t walk or use his or her hands is also considered to have a moderate to severe affliction. People with severe psoriasis are affected on more than 20 to 25 percent of their body.
No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis, but it is believed to have a genetic component. Most researchers agree that the immune system is somehow mistakenly triggered, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. A normal skin cell matures and falls off your body’s surface in 28 to 30 days. But a psoriatic skin cell takes only three to four days to mature and move to the surface. Instead of falling off or shedding, the cells pile up and form lesions.
There are several forms of psoriasis:
- plaque psoriasis
- guttate psoriasis
- inverse psoriasis
- pustular psoriasis
- erythrodermic psoriasis
There is no cure for psoriasis, but many different treatments, both topical and systemic, can clear psoriasis for periods of time. People often need to try different treatments before they find one that works for them.
Plaque psoriasis is one of the most common forms of psoriasis. The symptoms are often characterized by raised, inflamed, red lesions covered by a silvery-white scale. This type of psoriasis is typically found on your elbows, knees, scalp, and/or lower back.
Guttate psoriasis is characterized by small, red, individual spots on your skin. Guttate psoriasis generally appears on your upper arms and thighs, although, your face, ears, and scalp can sometimes carry small traces of the condition. This form of psoriasis is normally not as thick or crusty as lesions of plaque psoriasis.
Inverse psoriasis, also called flexural psoriasis, is a form of psoriasis found in your armpits, in your groin, under your breasts, and in other skin folds such as those around your genitals and buttocks. This form of psoriasis appears as smooth, dry areas of skin that are red and inflamed but do not have the scaling associated with plaque psoriasis. This type of psoriasis is often subject to more irritation due to rubbing and sweating because of its location on skin folds and tender areas.
Common traits of pustular psoriasis are white pustules or blisters of noninfectious pus surrounded by red skin. The pustules contain white blood cells, which are neither an infection nor contagious. The condition tends to go in cycles where there is a reddening of the skin followed by the formation of pustules and scaling. This type of psoriasis affects fewer than 5% of all people with psoriasis and can cover your entire body or focus on certain areas such as your hands and feet.
Erythrodermic psoriasis, characterized by a periodic, widespread, fiery redness of your skin, often appears on people who have unstable plaque psoriasis. Severe itching and pain can occur during the reddening and shedding of the skin. This type of psoriasis can affect body chemistry, causing protein and fluid loss that leads to severe illness. It is important to see your doctor if you have or develop erythrodermic psoriasis.
Seborrheic dermatitis affects your skin on the:
- creases of the arms, legs and groin
Seborrheic dermatitis causes your skin to look greasy and scaly or flaky. When the flaking skin affects the scalp, it is commonly called dandruff. In babies it is known as cradle cap. Seborrheic dermatitis occurs more often in men than women.
Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp (dandruff) in adults and adolescents is usually treated with a shampoo that contains salicylic acid. If you have dandruff, you might start by using one of these shampoos daily until your dandruff is controlled, and then use it 2 or 3 times a week. When you use a dandruff shampoo, rub the shampoo into your hair thoroughly and let it stay on your hair and scalp for at least 5 minutes before rinsing. This will give it time to work
Your entire body surface continuously sheds dead skin cells. Dandruff is the shedding of dead skin cells from your scalp. The most common symptom of dandruff is scaling, often accompanied by itching. Dandruff scales usually occur as small white patches on the top of the head. Dandruff is most severe during the winter and mildest during the summer.
Dandruff is a natural process that cannot be eliminated but can be controlled by regularly shampooing your scalp with a mild, medicated shampoo. If scaling on the scalp is accompanied by redness and greasy scaling on the face, eyebrows, and eyelashes, you may have seborrheic dermatitis. You should contact your doctor if the redness is present, or if scaling occurs on parts of your body other than the scalp.
Other Skin Conditions:
Many skin irritations may take as long as 10 days after exposure to appear. The most common skin problems are:
- contact dermatitis due to poison ivy or Florida ivy
- fiberglass dermatitis
- skin reactions to chemical solvents
- athlete’s foot
- heat rash and jock itch
- infections from puncture wounds, abrasions, cuts, and insects bites
- sunburn and heat exhaustion
Wearing protective clothing is the simplest way to guard against exposure of your skin to the sun as well as minor cuts and abrasions that not only irritate your skin but also can get infected. Wearing work gloves and safety glasses helps you avoid accidental puncture wounds, cuts, and abrasions. Work gloves are essential when handling fiberglass, cleaning out debris and doing landscape work. Rubber gloves are suggested when using chemical solvents. These gloves reduce exposure to your skin. Clean, dry clothes help prevent skin irritations. Dry shoes and boots help prevent athlete’s foot. Itching, red spots, and minor inflammation can be very uncomfortable. If the inflammation does not go away after several days, consult your physician. Available in my store is Hollywood skin magic which is an all in one skin conditioner that contains moisturizers, emollients, vitamins and extracts to nourish and condition your skin from head to toe.
Itch is a common problem. Itches can be localized (limited to one area of your body) or generalized (occurring all over your body or in several different areas). Itching can be a symptom of an allergic reaction to something in the environment or to a medication or drug. Itching may occur with a rash or other changes in your skin. Itching can be created by fungus infections such as athlete’s foot and “jock itch.”
Environmental conditions such as dry or very humid climates can cause excessive dry skin that may produce itching. Itching is a common symptom of psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.
Excessive scratching is not good. Since scratching provides only temporary relief and doesn’t promote healing of your underlying problem, it is best to avoid scratching if at all possible. If scratching breaks open your skin, bacterial infection can set in. If scratching continues for many months or years, the area that is scratched may develop thickened skin or pigmentation that darkens the area.
If home treatment isn’t helping, or you notice that scratching is affecting the skin being scratched (infection, lichenification, or pigmentation), or the itch is disturbing your sleep, you should consult a doctor to ascertain why you’re itching.
Dryness can cause flakes on most parts of your body. It is most common on your legs and arms, where skin is thinner and more often exposed. The causes of dry, flaking skin are many.
Flaking skin is more common in older people because aging skin tends to be drier. Dry skin is aggravated by frequent washing and bathing, especially with harsh soaps. Dry skin is worse at certain times of the year. Winter is prime flake season. Low humidity in cold outdoor air and heated indoor air can worsen flaking skin. Without enough moisture, dry skin flakes off easily.
Flaking skin can also be the result of any condition that causes skin to become damaged, irritated, or inflamed, such as sunburn, allergies, poison ivy, psoriasis, and seborrhea.
Psoriasis is distinguished by flaking over patches of red, inflamed skin and should be treated by a doctor. Seborrhea commonly affects your scalp, usually forming yellowish, greasy scales. Eczema usually forms dry scales or flakes. Eczema can appear anywhere, but in adults it is most common on the hands.
A rash on your face might be almost invisible but very uncomfortable and itchy. The word eczema is a general term, referring to a broad range of red, itchy rashes, including:
contact allergies such as poison oak
Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common skin conditions. Patches of sensitive skin flare up in a rash in response to certain triggers, including:
- rubbing or scratching the skin
- excessive moisture, such as from saliva or milk
- excessive dryness
- cold air
- common house dust
- wool or other scratchy fabric
- cow’s milk
- dog or cat dander
- cigarette smoke
- clothes washed in an irritating detergent
The rash commonly begins on your cheeks, neck, wrists, hands, and on your skin over the outside of the elbows or knees. Scratching your skin often causes it to become more inflamed and more sensitive to irritants and to dry out easily.
Dry skin is a very common problem, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. The climate can make dry skin symptoms more severe. Winter’s wind and cold, dry air, along with indoor heating systems, create an environment that exacerbate dry skin conditions.
Dry skin can affect any part of your body. Arms and legs are most frequently affected. The most common symptom is itching, which can be mildly annoying to severely intense, often disturbing sleep. The most severe form of dry skin is called eczema. It appears as circular, pink-to-red patches of dry, rough, flaky skin, usually on your arms and legs. The back is often affected by both dry skin and eczema. Symptoms of any other skin conditions are often worsened by dry skin.
Many people suffer from dry, flaking, scaling skin. Sometimes there is severe itching. It is a year-round problem but more often appears only during the winter months when indoor heat is being used. Dry types of heat, such as electric and radiant, dry your skin much more than heating systems that include humidifiers.
Dry skin results from the outer layer of your skin losing excessive amounts of moisture. When this outer layer dries out, it becomes brittle and flakes off. Dry skin has many causes, including the environment, infections, parasites, hormonal imbalances, and hereditary and dietary disorders.
Dry, scaling skin on your feet is most commonly due to chronic athlete’s foot. This is caused by a fungal infection of your skin and is often associated with a fungal infection of your toenails. The skin often has a dull, reddish appearance.
Psoriasis can cause dry scaling of your skin. Psoriasis appears as small, white, flaky patches. If these scales are scraped off, they can cause bleeding. Neurodermatitis shows as a solitary patch of dry, scaling skin that itches constantly. It commonly occurs on your ankle, and its cause is unknown. Allergic dermatitis and contact dermatitis also cause skin rashes but tend to be more acute.
The SkinZinc® System which is available in the Global online store, has been found useful for skin conditions including:
- seborrheic dermatitis
SkinZinc® is also useful for other skin conditions such as:
- skin irritations
- itching skin
- flaking skin
- skin redness
- skin dryness
- skin scaling
I know you want to get in shape and look great. Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !