Illness detected in a timely manner is the key to successful treatment. This rule is especially true for diseases that are very difficult to treat. This includes scaly lichen, better known as psoriasis. Over the past few decades, this disease has increasingly covered territories, affecting children and retirees, tilting statistics in a sad direction.
It is not in vain that scaly lichen has caused so much interest. Today, psoriasis has changed from the classification of common skin diseases to systemic pathologies. It has been established that patients with this disease are more susceptible to infections, heart disease, depression and diabetes. Given the lack of a unified treatment system, it is very important to identify psoriasis in the early stages.
The first signs of psoriasis
The symptoms of this acne are recognizable even by those who have never faced a similar problem. A common sign of scaly lichen is a variegated rash.
This rash appears in areas of inflammation of the epidermis, it can be large or chiseled, with flaking and, sometimes, purulent filling. Each individual element of this rash is called papules. Observations from patients with psoriasis have shown that this disease can show the first signs even before the appearance of papules in the body.
In most cases, the appearance of skin rashes is preceded by a change in mood, loss of appetite and indigestion. It has been noted that a depressive state, often for no reason, often appears several days before the formation of the first papules. The problem is that patients with similar symptoms see no reason to go to the doctor. But, even in the case of a timely visit to the doctor, a specialist is far from able to establish the true cause of such a condition and correctly establish a diagnosis.
A rash on the body is the main symptom of psoriasis. Depending on the type of scaly lichen (there are dozens), the location of the lesion, the age of the patient, the disease can manifest itself in different ways.
Demonstrations in children
Scaly lichen can even occur in babies. This is very rare, but often exacerbated by the parents themselves. The first signs of the disease can resemble the heat of thorns or allergies, so adults trust their own knowledge and treat the child on their own. In most cases, babies with psoriasis go to the doctor when the disease is advanced.
In babies, scaly lichen appears most often in folds: on the inside of the thigh, armpits, between the toes and hands, in the folds of skin on the neck. The appearance of papules is often accompanied by itching, so the baby may be very agitated, not sleep at night and refuse to eat.
The lesions resemble thrush, diaper rash or eczema. The inflamed skin turns red or pink and feels warm to the touch. Pustules may appear punctually or form entire patches - plaques. As a rule, these spots appear above healthy skin. A distinctive feature of psoriatic plaques is the presence of dry scabs and scales on the rash, but in a baby, the papules and plaques are usually located in areas of profuse sweating, which makes the surface of the inflammation moist.
When these symptoms appear, it is important not to waste time on folk remedies and tips from the older generation. If a newborn has a rash (of any nature), it needs to be urgently shown to a pediatrician and dermatologist. The treatment of psoriasis in babies is not much different from adult therapy, the baby is credited with non-hormonal therapeutic ointments, in severe cases, pills and injections.
In older children, the initial symptoms of scaly lichen are not different from adults. However, children can suffer from any type of psoriasis:
- Plate- occurs more frequently. Its signs are dry, red and hot spots. The papules are covered with a hard crust with clear scales on the surface. They can appear anywhere, on time or consolidate into plaques. Itches more often, but not necessarily.
- Pustular- characterized by the presence of liquid or pus inside the papules. The initial stage is the same as the plaque: papules with clear edges, rise above the epidermis, but are full of fluid.
- Hairy part of the head- it may look like dandruff, but over time it forms a highly scaly crust on all or part of the surface of the head. The hair in the affected area becomes thinner and thinner. This type of psoriasis usually appears in the folds behind the ears.
- Palmar-plantar- almost never occurs in children. It differs in location on the palms and soles, while "lakes" appear with rough skin and scales.
- Bending surfaces- is most often formed on the elbows, knees, genitals. It differs from other types of psoriasis in the absence of scales. The affected skin is covered with a smooth, firm crust, similar to a single spot raised above the surface of a healthy epidermis. Color - pale pink, grayish white, pink.
For any manifestations of local peeling and inflammation on the skin, you should consult a dermatologist. Child psoriasis progresses very quickly, especially if accompanied by itching.
Damaged papules are easily infected with infections, grow and cover an increasingly larger area. After the prescribed treatment regimen, it is important to constantly monitor the child, avoid scratching wounds and new lesions on the body and follow a diet.
Demonstrations in women
The first stage of psoriasis can manifest at any age, but most of the time the first outbreaks occur before the age of 20, although the disease can "sleep" even until the age of 50. Adult men and women have the same symptoms as teenagers. At a more mature age, the risk of developing psoriasis on plants, nails and joints increases.
World disease statistics have revealed that women suffer from scaly lichen almost one and a half times more often, while most of them suffer from plaque psoriasis. It is not known exactly what caused this selectivity, but scientists suggest a hormonal factor among the causes of psoriasis.
Due to the same hormones, signs of scaly lichen in girls appear more frequently during PMS, when the hormonal background changes. In addition, a woman's natural sensitivity makes her more vulnerable to stress, depression, neurosis. For a person with a predisposition to psoriasis, any psychological instability can trigger an outbreak of the disease.
Other causes of disease exacerbation are:
- damage to the skin (burns, cuts, open wounds);
- allergic reactions;
- infectious diseases; metabolic disorder
- bad habits and unhealthy diet.
In fact, if a woman has a genetic predisposition to psoriasis, one of the irritating factors will sooner or later cause an outbreak. To avoid further exacerbations, the patient must carefully monitor his lifestyle.
The symptoms of psoriasis in women are the same as in men; the only difference between the sexes appears when the external genitals are affected. In the genital area, girls are faced with a reverse-looking, sometimes pustular plaque. The first symptoms are inflammation of the skin on the lips or pubis, rarely the mucous membrane is affected.
Small pin-shaped papules may appear in multiple or as a single spot. Scales with genital psoriasis rarely appear, since the location does not allow air to enter. A distinctive feature of psoriatic rash is that the papules and plaques protrude slightly above the surface and are warm. With these symptoms, you should immediately contact a dermatologist and a gynecologist.
Manifestations in men
The male half, as we have already noted, suffers from scaly lichen less often than women. However, the course of the disease and the symptoms remain the same in both halves. A survey and analysis of patients revealed that in men the first symptoms appear at 22 to 25 years old, while in women this occurs from 15 years old. These "late" symptoms are associated with the fact that the hormonal balance in the strong half comes later.
Psoriasis begins in men in the same way. In most cases, small papules with silvery scales appear first, then combine into large patches - plaques and "paraffin lakes".
Guttate psoriasis affects large areas of the body at once, but with small separate joints.
You can also distinguish psoriasis from other skin diseases at home, if you carefully examine the inflamed elements:
- A dense, rough crust forms on the surface of the papules and plaques, which come off. White scales on the surface come off easily when scraped, reminiscent of shavings.
- If you completely remove the scales from the wheal, a thin transparent film will remain on it.
- When removing the film from the psoriatic element, large drops of blood appear at this location, as there are many capillaries in the papules.
In addition to the obvious symptoms, scaly lichen is sometimes accompanied by a general weakening of the body, depression and an increase in body temperature. Psoriatic elements can have different shapes, for example, small individual papules in small amounts appear with a punctual lesion. Infection of a large area of the body at once (entire back, sides, abdomen, legs) occurs with tear-shaped psoriasis, while the papules resemble the shape of drops. Large, localized patches are a sign of currency psoriasis.
Based on observations from patients of both sexes, the scientists concluded that, in men, scaly lichen is more severe and the frequency of exacerbations is higher than in women. Expert reviews have noted that this is due to a banal unwillingness to be treated. The weaker half, however, is more health conscious and goes to the doctor for prophylaxis much more often than strong sex. The only type of psoriasis in which men do not hesitate to undergo treatment is genital. The reverse or pustular appearance of plaques may appear on the glans, scrotum or pubis.
Given the sensitivity of the skin in these areas, the inflammation progresses very quickly and requires immediate treatment. When detecting any rash on Organs genitals, it is not worth wasting time on "self-examination" and self-medication. Even the abundant peeling of the skin, without reddened and itchy inflammation, is considered the reason to go to the doctor.
Psoriasis of the nails (onychodystrophy) and the scalp in men is also common. These two types, according to dermatologists, are more often launched by men. Although there are many pictures on the internet with signs of the disease, the symptoms of scaly lichen are perceived as fungi or dandruff, and go to the doctor in a progressive way.
In the case of damage to the scalp, a severe flaking, sometimes itching, rough crust appears in some places or on the entire surface of the scalp. Nail psoriasis is manifested by a change in the color of the nail, the appearance of depressions and bumps and compression of the nail plate and the skin around it. We will consider the gradation of symptoms in more detail below.
Therefore, in children, women and men, the symptoms of psoriasis are no different. Any inflammation in the skin of the body, head or nails is the reason to consult the doctor. If the affected areas do not itch or peel, it does not mean that the skin has not been affected by psoriasis.
The first signs of the disease usually last for several days, after which they begin to progress rapidly. Sometimes, the disease can develop very slowly and the initial symptoms are "delayed" for a week or more. In any case, the disease will enter a full phase sooner or later. Psoriasis locations are often misleading to patients and experts. The same psoriasis of the nails in the first manifestations is very difficult to distinguish from a common fungal infection.
Manifestations on the scalp
In the early stages of development, psoriasis on the scalp looks like a slight flaking. Gradually, the affected areas acquire a reddish hue, may hurt and itch, sometimes protruding beyond the hairline: on the back of the head, behind the ears, on the forehead. The epidermis in the inflamed areas becomes more dense, the dense structure of the psoriatic rash is considered one of the distinguishing features.
This manifestation is often confused with seborrhea, in which the scalp also flakes a lot. However, unlike seborrhea, psoriatic elements bleed if the upper scaly layer is removed from them. In addition, psoriasis is characterized by thickening of the affected skin. If this rash is accompanied by severe itching, patients often aggravate the situation by traumatizing plaques and papules. Open wounds become infected quickly and the disease progresses.
This type of scaly lichen appears in children and adults. The attempt at self-medication often only worsens the condition, so, in the first suspicion of psoriasis, it is better to consult a specialist. A trichologist and a dermatologist can accurately understand the nature of the inflammation, it is best to first show the child to the lead therapist.
Manifestations on the skin of the body
In the body, most of the time the first papules appear in places of folds and friction: in the knees, in the armpits, in the elbows, in the neck. Depending on the type of psoriasis, the manifestations may vary. As with children, adults can have many types of this disease, but a few more points have been added to the list above.
In addition to the most common types of scaly lichen, people over 18 can have:
- Pustular,which is no different in symptoms in adults and children. It affects any part of the body and is characterized by a severe course. Often accompanied by fever and general weakness. The papules are filled with clear liquid first, which distinguishes this type of disease from the others. If they are damaged and infected again, pus will appear in them.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis.It is considered a very complex form of this disease, most of the time it does not appear immediately, but it progresses from plaque or pustular. But an independent course is also possible. Unlike normal psoriasis, it affects large areas of the body and develops very quickly. The papules may be "empty" or full of pus. If psoriatic elements hurt and grow at high speed, affecting large areas of the body, it is more likely to be erythroderma.
- Tear-shaped,which, as we have already discovered, is characterized by dotted and frequent skin lesions. At the beginning of the disease, the papules are very small, with well-defined edges and the shape of a convex tear. At the first sign, it reaches small areas of the body, but grows gradually. It can appear on the arms, legs, abdomen, back, neck.
- Arthritic psoriasis.The worst thing that can happen with this disease is damage to the joints. Most of the time, this occurs in people who are already sick with one of the types of psoriasis, but it can also appear as an independent disease. It first affects small joints: the phalanges of the toes and hands tend to move to more important places. The first signs for him are aches and pains in the joints, fever, swelling of the phalanges of the fingers.
Arthritic and erythrodermic psoriasis are considered especially dangerous, as they cause more serious complications. In the case of joint damage, the disease threatens a real disability. However, in most cases, the most severe forms of the disease appear in patients who already have psoriasis.
Manifestations in the legs
The legs are most often affected in the knee area, it can be reverse or plaque psoriasis. In this case, the knee is totally or partially covered by a dense crust with a rough, white surface. Most of the time, with the defeat of the knees, the same happens with the elbows, but not necessarily. We have already learned how to determine papular psoriasis.
The legs are also a common tear-shaped injury area. In this case, most of the leg is covered by small papules, which at the same time occupy the region from the leg to the thigh. The elements become inflamed, hot, sometimes itchy and hurt.
Skin roughness, painful calluses and itchy feet indicate plantar psoriasis and can also "touch" your palms at the same time. This is a very common form of the disease, as the feet are the most susceptible to mechanical stress. The skin at the injury site cracks, exfoliates, itches. It is important to consult in time, as fungi and infections can get into the fissures, causing a serious complication.
Manifestations in nails
Onychodystrophy affects the nail plate. It often accompanies other, more complex forms of psoriasis, but sometimes appears on its own. With this disease, patients usually arrive very late, mistaking it for a fungus. The symptoms of the disease are:
- changing the shape of the nail;
- depressions and tubers in the nail plate;
- change in nail color (light brown, cloudy, with dark spots);
- thickening of the skin under and around the nail;
- overgrowth of the skin on the nail;
- peel the nail along and along the plate.
It is also not worth treating this type of disease. It progresses slowly but steadily, as a result, the patient may completely lose the nail without further recovery. For advice in this case, you also need to contact a dermatologist.
Psoriasis affects the arms as often as the rest of the body. Most of the time, under his "vision" is the elbow, since he is more exposed to friction, flexion, damage. In this area, plaque-shaped reverse pustular psoriasis is located. In this case, the first signs of the disease develop in the same way as in the knees.
A very problematic area in the arms is located in the armpits. Any type of disease here progresses very quickly, as it is a hot and humid place, deprived of good access to air. In this case, psoriasis is not always covered by a scaly crust, the plaques and pustules may resemble normal irritation or diaper rash.
If the inflamed spots grow and multiply, you need to see a dermatologist urgently.
Disease manifestations in case of joint damage
As already noted, the small joints of the fingers and toes are most commonly affected in psoriatic arthritis. In a difficult course, this disease affects the spine and the pelvic joints. It is very difficult to recognize the disease in the early stages, especially at home. Unfortunately, the diagnosis is very difficult. Today, even clinics can only establish the consequences of joint damage, not prevent disease.
In most cases, arthropathic psoriasis is another complication of this disease and rarely acts as an independent disease. A distinguishing feature is that it affects the connective tissue around the joint. For example, if the finger joints are affected, the patient develops dactylitis - an inflammation of all the tissues of the fingers. At the same time, they increase in volume, do not bend and hurt a lot.
Today, there is no single psoriasis treatment system, as well as a single medication that would help all patients with this disease equally effectively. Squamous lichen is classified as a systematic non-communicable disease that occurs in a chronic way. It is impossible to cure it once and for all, but it is perfectly possible to achieve long-term remission. Early detection of the disease greatly simplifies this task.
For the purpose of prophylaxis, doctors recommend that you have a general examination and tests every six months or a year, even if there is no suspicion of any disease. With the appearance of a rash, prolonged irritation, large flaking areas of the skin, you should immediately contact a specialist and not waste precious time with dangerous self-medication.