Does psoriasis cause inflammation?
What is inflammation?
Ever seen a reddened, swollen, almost hot and painful part of your skin? That is inflammation. In order to answer whether psoriasis causes inflammation, we need to first understand what inflammation is. Inflammation is the defense mechanism of the body. It is the result of accumulation of cells that belong to the immune system when it recognizes damaged cells, pathogens or irritants somewhere in the body. Inflammation can be beneficial when, say, you get an injury on your knee or elbow, but if it persists, it can be dangerous and cause more harm than benefit. Inflammation includes pain, as the chemical released make the nerves sensitive, redness because capillaries in the area are flooded with blood, immobility as there is loss of movement in the region, and swelling which is a result of built up fluid.
Why psoriasis causes inflammation?
Psoriasis is a disease of the immune system. It happens when the immune system starts attacking healthy cells of the body. This involves rushing of immune cells to different locations in our body. As the blood vessels become dilated and flooded with blood, swelling, and hence inflammation, is bound to happen. It starts as the body’s normal attempt to deal with bad cells, but since these cells are not bad, the immune system keeps fighting and new cells keep being made. That is why in psoriasis patients, acute inflammation does not have an end. Eventually what happens is that the T-cells from the immune system get into the mix, and turn acute inflammation into chronic inflammation. This leads to increased severity and patches with scales to form. Just beneath the surface of psoriasis plaque, a number of processes start which cause inflammation to spread all around the body. This is how inflammation is caused by psoriasis throughout the body.
How to treat inflammation caused by psoriasis?
Inflammation can make life very difficult. It becomes hard to move and the pain is intense. Chronic inflammation make it hard for you to go about your daily routine. Hence, it is very important to treat psoriasis and inflammation both. To start with psoriasis, it can be treated with the use of some topical agents like coal tar and corticosteroids which reduce the swelling and help with softening and removing scales and dry skin. They help re-moisturize the skin and allow it to breath, letting the medication seep through and treat the core of the affected area. On the other hand, to treat chronic inflammation, nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs are available that can effectively reduce swelling and pain but long term use can increase risk of ulcer, steroids that can help tame the immune system, and last but not least are supplements like fish oil lipoic acid and curcumin that can help reduce inflammation.
It has been well-established that inflammation is caused by psoriasis, and that it can get to severe levels. The best possible solution is to consult your dermatologist, as his advice is the best to follow. Psoriasis is just a word, until we give it meaning. Don’t let it eat away at your will.
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