Psoriasis is a noninfectious collection of five types of autoimmune skin conditions. One study showed that approximately 3.2 percent of American adults have some form of psoriasis, and that 7.4 million Americans were affected in 2013. The condition is also highest among Caucasians, at a rate of 3.6 percent. It is not unusual for Dr. Nathen Horst to see these patients after they have exhausted standard treatments for their psoriasis.
What Are the Five Types of Psoriasis?
- Plaque psoriasis: This is the most common form of the disease. There are raised, red patches, covered with a buildup of dead skin cells. This form of psoriasis will often show up on the scalp, knees, or back of the elbows. While normal skin cells replace themselves every 28 days or so, psoriatic skin cells will try to regenerate every three to four days.
- Guttate psoriasis: This form of psoriasis often starts in childhood. This is the second most common type of psoriasis after plaque psoriasis.
- Inverse psoriasis (or intertriginous psoriasis): These red lesions, which appear in folds in the skin, have a smooth, shiny appearance.
- Pustular psoriasis: This psoriasis has white blisters filled with noninfectious pus, surrounded by red skin.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: This form of psoriasis often affects most of the body. It is very rare, occurring only once or more during the lifetime of 3 percent of all people who have psoriasis.
In addition, about 30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, which is characterized by pain, stiffness, and inflammation of the joints.
What Are the Causes and Treatments of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is caused when skin cells mature faster than normal. Unlike normal skin cells, which will slough off when they have died, psoriatic skin cells just continue to build up, causing the cells to become red, raised, painful, and inflamed. The condition is thought to be auto-immune, caused when the body goes into overdrive trying to fight off what it perceives as a foreign body.
The most common standard treatment is over the counter or prescription aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and swelling. In cases of psoriatic arthritis, drugs that treat rheumatoid arthritis will be recommended. There are also some new biologic medications that can help protect the joints. In addition, patients with psoriasis can also benefit from stress reduction treatments such as meditation and yoga.
Chiropractic Adjustment for Treating Psoriasis
Similar to many other auto-immune conditions, the actual culprit is not the skin, but the intestinal digestive system. When the spine is misaligned, it may pinch nerves that feed into the walls of the intestinal tracts, interfering with blood supply. This can also affect the lymph nodes. Over time, the intestinal walls may break down, releasing toxins into the system. The body responds by trying to fight off the toxins and going into overdrive, thus causing painful flare ups of psoriasis.
Psoriasis can be not only physically painful, but also cause social embarrassment. Fortunately, chiropractic care may be able to help sufferers control flare ups so that they can enjoy life to the fullest. Contact Horst Chiropractic today.