Plaque psoriasis is one of the most common types of psoriasis. It is characterized usually by patches of inflamed, reddish, flaky skin that itches and cause pain. They are also quite ugly to look at.
Whenever this disease is mentioned, the most common form of psoriasis that comes to mind is plaque psoriasis. In severe cases, the plaques can be found all over the body, but the most common locations for them are the back of joints such as the knees and elbows. It is an auto immune disease with hereditary implications.
Plaque psoriasis while affecting the skin also affects the emotional outlook of the person having this disease. People with this type of psoriasis feel like outcasts and are unwilling to socially interact with other people for fear of getting shunned.
This type of psoriasis typically occurs both in men and women at any age, mostly in the late teens and the late fifties. Along with some hereditary factors there are also environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight, smoking, drinking alcohol and some preexisting immune conditions which may become the potential for psoriasis.
This type of psoriasis ranges in severity from being asymptomatic to severe. This being a chronic condition, it recurs cyclically and never goes away completely. Outburst of this type of psoriasis can last for several weeks to months.
Diagnosis can only be made upon visual examination by a doctor or a dermatologist.
There are different types of treatment for plaque psoriasis and it depends on the severity of the condition. Most common treatment for psoriasis are topical creams and ointments. Most people use products such as moisturizer that can be brought over the counter to help lessen the dryness and itchiness.
Moderate to severe cases often require sticking to a set of psoriasis diet and exercise guidelines along with stronger medication usage. Treatment of psoriasis in advanced cases may necessitate the use of strong topical creams or gel, systemic treatments and injections and also light therapy.
Topical medications may range from moisturizers to corticosteroids to salicylic acid. Topical creams are best used in the treatment of stubborn plaques and patches.
Another psoriasis treatment method for plaque psoriasis is the use of ultraviolet light. This condition can be easily treated by exposing the affected area to direct sunlight for short periods of time regularly. There are other kinds of light therapy including UVB phototherapy, photochemotherapy, and narrow-band UVB therapy. These therapies work well but also carry possibility of complications such as blistering, and possible increased risk of skin cancer.
Systemic treatments include potent immunosuppressant drugs which have the potential to carry serious side effects and so are mostly reserved for very severe cases. These medicines include cyclosporine or methotrexate. Retinoids can also be used.
New drugs which are also called biologics are also used when no other treatment works.
Plaque psoriasis is a chronic condition, so it is wise to take measures to relieve inflammatory response and increase overall health by means of a strict proper diet, regular exercise and a low stress lifestyle.