Psoriasis is a condition of the skin that changes the life cycle of the cells of the skin. It causes rapid accumulation of cells in the surface of the skin. It forms thick, silvery scales which are itchy and dry and red patches that are sometimes painful, itchy and can crack and cause bleeding.
Psoriasis is a persistent, long-lasting or chronic disease. There are times where the symptoms get better and can also become severe. Psoriasis affects only a few areas of the skin or it can be mild, moderate or severe. A normal cell of the skin matures in 28-30 days and sheds from the skin. Psoriatic cells mature in seven days and they “heap up” and form scaly lesions.
Symptoms of psoriasis
- Small scaling spot usually seen in children
- Red patches of skin that are wrapped with silvery scales
- Dry, cracked skin that can bleed
- Itchiness, burning sensation or soreness
- Swelling and stiff joints
- Dense, eroded or ridged nails
- Stop the bleeding using a clean cloth or bandage to apply steady pressure for at least 10 minutes. When the area is not bleeding, rinse the area using cool or lukewarm water to prevent infection.
- Cover the crack to protect it from dirt, debris and germs using liquid bandage. It creates a thin coating on the skin. Gently bring the edges of the crack or cut together and spray, brush or dab the liquid bandage on top of the skin and let it dry.
- Apply a thick layer of lip balm or petroleum jelly on small cuts.
- Soften severe dry, cracking and bleeding skin by soaking the area in lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes. Avoid using hot water and harsh soaps to prevent drying of the skin. Add oils, Epsom salts and colloidal oatmeal to the lukewarm water soak to lessen the itching and irritation. Pat dry the skin using a towel and apply an emollient ointment, oil or cream.
- Before going to sleep at night, apply a moisturizing ointment such as petroleum jelly. Cover the area to lock in moisture overnight. Apply a moisturizer at least 2 times every day. Wear gloves and socks made of cotton to protect the affected hands and feet.
- After taking a bath, apply a thick cream or emollient to moisturize and soften the skin. Before applying the cream, pat dry the skin.