For people who do not have psoriasis the definition may seem simple. However, for anyone diagnosed with the skin disorder, they know that it is anything but simple. If you know someone who has been diagnosed with it, it is important that you learn all that you can about the disease so that you can understand what your loved one is going through during flare-ups.
What is the Psoriasis Definition?
By Greek definition, the word psoriasis means, basically, “itching condition” and in its most simple form, the dictionary will define psoriasis as a skin disease which is marked by itchy, red, scaly patches and for the most part, this is factual. It sounds like just a minor inconvenience.
If you consider the longer definition of psoriasis you will discover that it, admittedly, does cause red, scaly patches that itch. However, it can cause pain in the joints as well as make people feel insecure while they are in public during a flare-up. The people who suffer with it can be uncomfortable on many levels and the severity of their suffering will depend on the particular type of psoriasis they may have.
The Many Forms of Psoriasis
To understand the true definition of psoriasis you must also understand that there are five different types of the skin disease. The most common type is plaque psoriasis. This is the type that causes red or white scaly patches on the top layer of skin. Other types include:
- Pustular psoriasis is a very rare type of psoriasis. It is recognizable by the widespread area it covers as well as the puss filled sores that it can create.
- guttate psoriasis shows up most often in tiny tear drop shaped patches on a person’s legs, arms or mid-body areas.
- erythrodermic psoriasis is considered to be the one that affects the entire body’s chemistry. It covers widespread areas of the body and peels off in sheets as oppose to simply scaling or flaking off.
- inverse psoriasis will affect mostly in areas of the body that fold. For instance, the groin area, under breasts, inside of elbows or the backs of the knees is most commonly where it could be red and irritated.
In some cases though, psoriasis can be present even though the patient does not show signs or symptoms of it. Often this due to the simple fact that psoriasis can go into remission where it does not have any negative effects. The person with psoriasis that is in remission will still have to treat their skin right to prevent it from returning.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Perhaps another way to gain understanding about the psoriasis definition is to understand what causes certain people to have it while others do not. However, keep in mind that approximately seven and a half million people in America alone have some type of psoriasis.
It is believed by many that the cause of psoriasis is possibly either genetics or an issue with the immune system.
In many cases, you will discover that a person who has psoriasis or the symptoms of it now have had others in their family tree that also suffered with this skin disease. It can possibly skip a generation or it may go from mother to child. In order to know for sure if your issue is genetic, you will need to explore your family’s history.
If you do not see any past history of psoriasis, this means that there is most likely an imbalance within your immune system that causes skin cells to multiply faster than someone who does not have psoriasis. The average person’s body produces new skin cells slowly and on average will shed off the top layer of skin every four weeks.
The true psoriasis definition is as complicated as the symptoms that you may have while dealing with it. It will also vary depending on the particular type of psoriasis that you have. It is perhaps more important that you discover as much as you can about the particular type of skin psoriasis that you have.