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April 17, 2019

Psoriasis – what’s behind it?

Psoriasis Treatment Berlin | Dr. Kors Skin CenterThe main focuses of our practice include treatment of psoriasis in Berlin.  The technical term psoriasis describes a skin disease in which the skin is reddened and forms silvery-white scales. This is why it is also known as psoriasis. The disease was probably first described over 2000 years ago by the Greek physician Hippocrates. The term psoriasis was first used by the physician Galenus around the 2nd century AD, although he was probably describing an eczema condition.

In the course of history, psoriasis was probably often confused or equated with other diseases, including leprosy, scabies and eczema. Even though the disease is still not completely curable, psoriasis therapy has been continuously developed over the years so that sufferers can now enjoy a much better quality of life.

(Image: © hriana – Fotolia.com)

The normal skin renewal process

Most body cells no longer undergo a division process once their development is complete. The cells of the skin, on the other hand, do not lose this ability, but possess it for a lifetime. On average, the cyclical skin renewal process of a healthy person lasts between 24 and 28 days. The constant cell regeneration of the basal cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis (epidermis) continuously pushes the overlying cells upwards. This causes them to slowly dry out and form the top horny layer of the skin before they finally die off and are rejected by the body. Around 14 grams of these cells are shed unnoticed every day.

What happens with psoriasis?

In psoriasis, precisely this process described above is disrupted. The skin layer on the affected areas does not renew itself as usual within 24 to 28 days, but within a few days. The excess skin cells, which have formed too quickly, die off and form the shiny whitish scales typical of the clinical picture. In addition, an inflammatory reaction takes place in the corresponding areas, which leads to the sharply defined, strongly reddened skin.

In addition to the skin, psoriasis can also occur in the joints and on the nails. The severity of psoriasis is very individual in each case. The plaques (the skin changes in psoriasis) can be just a few millimeters in size or more than ten centimeters. Patients’ perceptions can also vary: While some people are hardly bothered by the disease, for others it represents an enormous psychological burden and restriction in everyday life. Psoriasis is not contagious.

Who can be affected by psoriasis?

An estimated 125 million people worldwide suffer from psoriasis. In Germany alone, there are around two million people. The disease occurs in both men and women. No gender-specific differences can be identified. Psoriasis is one of the most common chronic skin diseases. In 2014, it was officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a serious non-infectious disease.

Is there an age range in which psoriasis occurs more frequently?

In principle, psoriasis can occur at any stage of life. The majority of psoriasis sufferers suffer from “common psoriasis” (psoriasis vulgaris). The disease often occurs before the age of 40. Patients are usually between 15 and 25 years old when psoriasis first breaks out. This form of psoriasis is also known as type 1 or early type. The late type (psoriasis vulgaris type 2) occurs less frequently. In this case, the symptoms and complaints of the disease only become apparent after the age of 40. Those affected are often between 40 and 65 years old. While type 1 often appears to be characterized by a family history of psoriasis, the late type of psoriasis is usually not associated with a higher incidence in relatives.

Causes and triggers of psoriasis

Despite the great progress made in research, the causes of psoriasis have not yet been conclusively clarified. According to current knowledge, genetic predispositions play a major role. A weakened immune system and certain risk factors can also promote the development of psoriasis. Risk factors include mechanical injuries to the skin, certain medications, infections, nicotine and alcohol consumption, stress, hormonal changes, an incorrect diet, obesity and climatic influences. Due to the high level of sunlight in summer, which has an anti-inflammatory effect, the symptoms usually lessen at this time of year, whereas they often become more severe in winter.

Psoriasis therapy in Berlin – our experts will be happy to advise you

When treating psoriasis in Berlin, it is particularly important to us to find the right therapy for you personally. This is only possible with the help of a detailed consultation and a thorough examination. Based on the individual indications, we decide together whether local therapy (with active ingredients that are applied topically to the skin) or systemic treatment (with medication or biologics) is recommended. Light therapy can also be considered as a supportive measure. We will be happy to explain the details of psoriasis treatment in Berlin to you personally.

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