Disease Focus of the Month – Psoriasis
Psoriasis : Psoriasis is a non-contagious and chronic inflammatory skin disease that causes skin redness or irritation. People affected with psoriasis have red skin with flaky, white patches. It generally affects areas over the elbows, knees and scalp. They can occur suddenly or slowly and for many people, it goes away but re appears after sometime. Mid cases of psoriasis could be nuisance but the severe cases can be very painful and disabling. There are several types of Psoriasis:
Plaque: The most common form that causes dry, red skin lesion with silvery scales
Guttate: It affects younger people (<30 yrs old) and is usually triggered by a bacterial infection
Inverse: It causes smooth patches of red inflamed skin in the groin, armpits, under breasts or around genitals
Pustular: One of the uncommon forms but develops very quickly with pus filled blisters that appears after the skin gets dried and red
Erythrodermic: Its very uncommon but if it occurs, it could cover the entire body with a red, peeling rash that could burn or itch intensely. It could be the result of corticosteroids and other medication or excessive exposure to sun leading to sun burns.
Prevalence Rate: It is a very common condition and is usually seen at an age but more between 15- 35 years of age. Worldwide around 2-3% of the world population is affected by it. 71% of the children affected by psoriasis show a strong family history. If a parent has psoriasis, the child is 10% more prone to develop it and this rate increases to 50% if both parents had it. It is more prevalent in moderate to cold climates than in tropical climates.
Cause: The exact cause is unknown although it’s considered to be passed down through families and related to immune system. Technically, there is a cell named T cell which is a white blood cell. It travels throughout the body to detect any foreign viruses or bacteria. However in cases of persons having psoriasis, these T cells mistakenly attack healthy cells in order to fight an infection for instance. The following factors are assumed to trigger Psoriasis:
- Cold weather
- Infections such as strep throat
Treatment: For mild cases, topical creams, lotions, ointments, sprays are effective and safe to use. For severe cases, it requires systemic or total body treatments such as pills or injections. Topical corticosteroids are the most frequently prescribed medications for treating mild to moderate psoriasis. Low potency corticosteroids are generally used for sensitive areas. Another treatment is photo therapy where patients are exposed to controlled amount of sunlight. This allows the activated Tcells in the skin to die. This helps to reduce scaling and inflammation.
Market size: As per the data by market research analysts decision resources, the value of psoriasis market will double from $3.4 Billion in 2009 to $6.8 billion in 2019 in the USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and Japan.