Psoriasis: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment


Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition and it causes over-production of skin cells resulting in thick and uncomfortable scaling on the skin’s surface. Psoriasis forms like a thick, reddish patch on skin with white scales in between. The area around the scales is inflamed and red at all times. At times, these patches might also crack and bleed resulting in a lot of pain.

Psoriasis is very common with more than 10 million cases in India reported yearly.


Cause of psoriasis

Even doctors have no idea as to what causes psoriasis. However, there are two key factors that have been suggested behind psoriasis development:


If you have an immediate family member with psoriasis, you are at high risk of developing the condition.

Immune system

Psoriasis is defined as an autoimmune condition. The white blood cells (also known as the T cells) mistakenly attack the skin cells and causes the rate of the skin cells production to multiply. These piled up cells results in psoriasis causing itchy, painful skin.


Common symptoms of psoriasis

The symptoms of psoriasis are not the same for everyone.  For some, psoriasis just covers a small part of the elbow or the knees as minor flakes, whereas for others, it covers the majority of the body.

The most common symptoms of psoriasis are:

  • Inflamed patches of skin those are red and raised
  • Whitish-silver plaques on red patches
  • Soreness and pain around patches
  • Dry skin that cracks and bleeds
  • Itchiness and burning sensation around patches
  • Painful and inflamed joints
  • Thick, pitted nails


Foods that trigger psoriasis flare-ups

There is still no research on this but people who have been living with psoriasis say that eliminating certain food from diet affects their skin condition positively.


Veggies like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers

These vegetables contain chemical compound solanine that triggers psoriasis in many. They also believe that avoiding these vegetables from diet soothes symptoms.


Citrus fruits

Fruits like oranges, lemon, limes, and grapefruits are common allergens and may cause psoriasis to flare up.


Cut back on alcohol

You must stop drinking if you have psoriasis. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and causes the white blood cells to sneak into the outer layers of the cells more easily causing skin inflammation and flaky skin. Even if you are a moderate drinker, it might trigger psoriasis.


Avoid fried food as it causes inflammation

Fried and junk food are high in trans fats and saturated fats that contribute to psoriasis inflammation. These foods also add to that extra weight and people with psoriasis are often overweight.



Certain common condiments like cinnamon, curry powder, mayo, paprika, vinegar, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup are been proved to increase inflammation and cause flare-ups.


Red meat and dairy

A polyunsaturated fat called arachidonic acid is present in red meat that can worsen psoriasis symptoms as these fats are easily converted to inflammatory compounds. Processed meat like sausage and bacon should also be avoided.

Cow milk is considered a villain in your diet if you have psoriasis.


Cold and dry weather

A person living with psoriasis will be able to tell you how the symptoms of psoriasis flare-up in chilled and dry weather.


Can psoriasis be treated?

Psoriasis can most definitely be treated although it cannot be cured. Some OTC medications, biologic drugs or prescription topical that target the immune system are some effective options to treat psoriasis symptoms. Another alternative treatment is phototherapy.



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