The causes of skin lesions with psoriatic plaques have not been fully established. The vast majority of doctors consider genetic predisposition to be a fundamental factor in the development of pathology. Psoriasis is a systemic, non-infectious, chronic, recurring disease that primarily affects the skin, nails and joints.
The main signs and causes of psoriasis
Psoriatic disease is characterized by increased reproduction of epidermal cells. Normally, cell division, maturation and death occur within 3-4 weeks. With psoriasis, this process takes no more than 5 days.
Outwardly, this is manifested by the formation on the skin of dense areas of red or pink color, covered with small white scales of dead cells. If they are carefully scraped off, a thin glossy (terminal) film with a clearly visible network of capillaries will be exposed. After a slight friction, droplets of blood appear on it.
This feature is called the "psoriatic triad" and is the main difference between psoriasis and other skin conditions. To confirm the diagnosis, a histological examination of the skin particles of the affected areas is performed.
The main factors provoking the appearance of psoriasis are considered:
- exogenous (external causes). These include various skin injuries of a physical or chemical nature.
- Endogenous (internal causes). They may consist in the presence of diseases of the immune, endocrine systems, HIV infection. Smoking, alcohol, unhealthy diet also provoke psoriatic skin lesions.
- Psychogenic. In most cases, the first manifestations of psoriasis appear after experiencing nervous shocks or prolonged emotional overload.
Often rashes are a consequence of infectious and inflammatory diseases. Many doctors attribute this to a weakened immune system. People with a genetic predisposition to psoriasis are advised to avoid the factors that provoke it.
Forms of psoriatic disease
This or that form of the disease depends on the type of rash and the place of their localization. During pregnancy, due to changes in the hormonal background, psoriatic manifestations can disappear or, conversely, manifest themselves with increased force.
The most common form of pathology. The first signs are papular rashes. They can be single, grouped on different parts or throughout the body. With the progression of the disease, psoriatic plaques gradually increase and merge with each other.
Depending on the form of the rashes, ordinary psoriasis is divided into:
- dotted (dot-shaped papules the size of a match head);
- drop-shaped (oblong spots the size of a pinhead);
- coin-shaped (round plates the size of a pea).
Rashes can be in the form of an arc, circle, spiral, garland. Sometimes they resemble the outlines of continents on a geographic map. If the disease is localized on the scalp, then they speak of seborrheic type psoriasis. Sometimes the neck, nose, forehead and chest are affected. Diagnosis is difficult due to the similarity of the pathology with seborrhea.
Distinctive features are the clarity of the boundaries of the affected areas, the presence of the "psoriatic triad", the silvery color of the scales. There is often itching, hair does not fall out.
The clustering of plaques on the feet and hands gave palmoplantar psoriasis its name. It is characterized by the formation of smooth areas of the skin, resembling calluses. Nail psoriasis changes color, shape and structure. They become loose, become covered with small depressions and take the shape of a thimble.
Isolation of exudate from papules causes a burning sensation. The scales stick together and form a crust that adheres tightly to the skin. In this case we speak of the exudative form of psoriasis.
In severe cases, the entire body surface is affected. The skin becomes hot to the touch, acquires a red tint, swells, there is severe itching, burning and a feeling of tightness. This form of the disease is classified as psoriatic erythroderma.
It occurs quite rarely. It develops against the background of vulgarity or appears on absolutely healthy skin. In this case, the inflamed areas appear first, on which blisters form during the day, which quickly turn into pustules. Their contents are sterile and, once drained, they dry out and form crusts.
There are several types of disease. All of them are characterized by chills, fever, fever, sometimes diarrhea, vomiting. The condition worsens when the pustules coalesce and occupy large areas of the skin. If pustular psoriasis occurs against the background of psoriasis vulgaris, no fusion is observed.
It affects the joints, most often small (phalanges of the fingers and toes). Sometimes the pathological process affects the spine. This form of psoriasis often leads to disability.
The first signs of the disease are pain, aggravated by movement and swelling of the joints. Evening fever, disruption of the gastrointestinal tract, loss of appetite are characteristic of an exacerbation of the disease.
Over time, there is deformity of the joints and loss of mobility. Pathology can develop independently or in parallel with the skin manifestations of vulgar psoriasis.
All forms of pathology can develop gradually, over the years, or rapidly over several days and even hours. The treatment regimen depends on the form and degree of the disease and must be compiled by a specialist dermatologist.
Most often, external agents are prescribed in the form of ointments and gels and physiotherapy. In some cases, drug therapy is required. Self-medication can lead to an exacerbation of the disease.