Finding an effective cure for psoriasis would be much easier for scientists if they could accurately understand the reasons for its appearance. The question "why? " Appears not only in the luminaries of science, but also in every patient who is forced to fight this disease. Theories about incentives began to emerge hundreds of years ago. Today we have dozens of guesses available, but all are still awaiting scientific proof. Studying even the possible causes of psoriasis will help many patients to prevent recurrence of the disease, and healthy people may not even face it.
Worldwide dermatology has managed to establish with certainty one of the reasons for the appearance of psoriasis - it is a genetic predisposition. Today, 60% of all psoriasis patients have a relative with the same problem. These conclusions led scientists to study the theory of the hereditary origin of scaly lichen in more detail.
On April 5, 2013, the WHO Secretariat compiled a research report in this area. I was able to install the following:
- if one parent is sick in the family, the risk of the child's illness is 14%;
- if both parents are affected in the family, the risk increases to 41%;
- if a sister or brother is sick - 6%.
In this case, psoriasis can appear even after several generations, "ignoring" the previous ones.
An important task for biochemists was to find out which gene is responsible for such inheritance. A study of the patient's genome identified nine loci of genes that may be associated with psoriasis. However, the only exact gene that is responsible for the disease's heredity has not been established.
It is known only that not even the scaly lichen itself is inherited, but only a predisposition to it. This means that a person whose relatives have had a similar problem will not necessarily suffer from psoriasis. Therefore, it cannot be considered an exclusively hereditary disease. For psoriasis to manifest, it will need additional pathogens, which can also be considered its causes.
Furthermore, the question remains for the remaining 40% of patients - why did they get sick if no one in their family suffered from a similar problem? This task forces scientists to search further for the causes of scaly lichen.
Infections and viruses as pathogens
The infectious theory of the disease appeared one of the first, started to be investigated about two centuries ago. 19th century scientists were convinced of the failure of pathological microorganisms and tried diligently to establish which ones were responsible for this disease. This explanation seemed the most obvious, since psoriasis in patients can appear suddenly and also go into sudden remission. And today there are supporters of this idea among scientists.
Infectious theory supporters believe that pathogens send an impulse to autonomic division and the endocrine system, affecting their functions. These changes disrupt the body's normal ability to respond to the influence of the environment, to adapt to it. As a result, if you add one more provoking factor, the skin cells die not in 30 days (which is natural for them), but in 4-5 days, which is why a group of keratinized cells appears on the hands, on the head, on the face or the rest of the body. inflammation.
For many years, doctors have been researching fungi and bacteria, trying to discover the relationship between them and the root cause of the disease. But among the pathological organisms known to medicine, there is no one who can become the "trigger" of this acne. Today, the infectious theory of the appearance of scaly lichen is not considered the main one, but it is also not totally rejected. There is still some connection between attacks of psoriasis and infections.
It has been established that angina, acute viral respiratory infections, streptococci, tonsillitis and other infections often accompany the first outbreaks of scaly lichen and, in the remission stage, cause a relapse. But most doctors tend to believe that infections only cause an existing disease to manifest.
The theory of the viral nature of the disease was also one of the first to emerge. However, that assumption has collapsed since the moment medicine discovered that psoriasis does not spread from person to person. However, there are viruses that persist in the body for years, reduce immunity and can cause psoriasis if the skin's immune system is damaged. In practice, there are cases of blood transfusion from a sick person to a healthy person, even if a healthy body is not infected with scaly lichen.
The theory of impaired metabolism
One of the characteristics that doctors observed in the course of psoriasis was the low temperature in patients. At first, this was considered one of the symptoms of the disease, but over time, doctors assigned a different meaning to this phenomenon. The fact is that a constant drop in temperature indicates a disturbed metabolism.Blood tests from patients have confirmed that psoriasis patients have a lot of cholesterol, both in adults and children.
These indicators indicate a violation of lipid metabolism in the body. This, in turn, leads to rapid keratinization of skin cells, which is why some scientists consider psoriasis to be a cholesterol diathesis. However, it has not yet been possible to determine whether cholesterol increases before or after the first outbreak.
In addition to the cholesterol in the patient's body, the balance of minerals and vitamins is disturbed, these changes also lead to serious consequences. It has been established that vitamin C in patients with scaly lichen is in excess and vitamins B6, B12, A are insufficient. I also noticed that there is corrupted content:
- zinc; iron
Changes in the mineral complex significantly reduce the body's adaptation and protection functions. That is, scientists believe that metabolic disorders can create an ideal platform for the disease: weaken the immune system, shorten the life span of skin cells, etc. In the presence of an irritating factor (trigger), the disease progresses and the first symptoms appear. What factors can influence this, we will also consider a little below. These changes not only cause inflammation in the body, but also psoriasis of the nails.
Such violations in the balance of useful components are confirmed in the laboratory. Therefore, when treating psoriasis, it is dangerous for the patient to take even vitamins on their own. In complex therapy, a diet is necessary, often starvation and hypocaloric nutrition, since carbohydrate metabolism in patients is also impaired. The positive developments in such activities partially support the theory of impaired metabolism.
But most doctors see these changes as a consequence, not a cause of the disease. These doubts are based on the fact that metabolic disorders would slowly lead to other symptoms at first, and psoriasis manifests itself in most cases immediately on the skin.
Hormonal disorder in pathogenesis
Patient statistics show that women are slightly more likely to suffer from psoriasis than men. In addition, in the weaker sex with such a problem, outbreaks of psoriasis symptoms are seen mainly during periods of ovulation and menstruation. Such characteristics in the "behavior" of the disease led scientists to think about the hormonal factor in the development of the disease.
In fact, in case of hormonal flaws, patients tend to relapse: during pregnancy, menopause, use of hormonal medications, etc. This hypothesis is supported by the general statistics of the first manifestations of the disease. In women, the initial symptoms occur at age 15, in men a little later - around 20-25 years. This is due to the fact that hormonal balance occurs later in strong sex.
But this theory also found opponents in front of scientists. The fact that changes in the hormonal background cause outbreaks of acne today does not raise doubts among doctors, however, this is considered the root cause of the disease. The hypothesis that hormones can cause psoriasis in a healthy person is ruled out, since the first symptoms and relapses of the disease occur in a context of hormonal "calm".
Psychosomatics of the disease
A study by the World Health Organization in the field of psoriasis revealed that 2% of the total population of the planet faces the disease. At the same time, the proportion of patients in developed and megacities is much higher than in peripheral or underdeveloped countries - on average, 4, 6%. They began to study an unusual trend, hoping to discover the cause of psoriasis. Research and the conclusion of scientists regarding this phenomenon is that psoriasis can be caused by psychological causes.
The skin is designed to reflect the general condition of the body, all changes in health status, including psychological instability, are "examined" on it. Some doctors tend to believe that psoriatic plaques are the body's way of announcing a nerve-based problem. Hence the fluctuations in statistics: in megacities, life is more impetuous, associated with a lot of stress, in contrast to a more restrained life in a small town.
Psychologists who are also involved in treating patients are more susceptible to this theory. It is believed that mental disorders can affect not only the moral component, but also the organic component, that is, the body. Thus, several changes in the nervous system can cause indigestion, skin rash, breathing problems, changes in heart rate.
These disorders include:
- Suppression of desires. For example, "I want to live with someone else / work at another job / beat my boss / change". The suppression of such cravings leads to the fact that adrenaline is deposited in the body and gradually destroys the organs and their functions.
- Stress, neurosis, depression. These changes can become the causes of the same metabolic disorders, hormonal disorders, etc.
- Feelings of guilt, duty not done.
- Dissatisfaction with one's body.
- Constant feeling of fear, anger or other strong emotions.
Treatment with sedatives and psychological training give noticeable positive results in patients, which favors the psychosomatic nature of psoriasis. Even doubts about babies (where do they get psoriasis, then? ) Are explained by psychologists. It is known that newborns are able to feel and respond to the mother's state and well-being. Thus, in case of problems with the mother, the baby can undergo several changes, even pathologies.
Child custody is also seen as a factor in the development of scaly lichen in children. For example, in the absence of maternal affection, the child experiences the same strong emotions as an adult (pain, fear, resentment). The body, in turn, tries to report dysfunctions and papules and plaques appear on the skin.
Excessive custody of parents can also lead to such consequences, but this case occurs mainly in families with children from 4 years old. The formed personality is trying to gain more freedom, and the parents, on the contrary, are trying to link the child to himself. The resulting conflict affects the child's sensitive body in the form of an inflamed rash.
Today, this theory of the causes of psoriasis is considered one of the main ones, along with the immunological ones. Scaly lichen therapy charmingly includes self-improvement, the elimination of negative thoughts and stress and a state of rest. For treatment, they even prescribe meditation and yoga classes, trips, hobbies, which do not help the patient worse than drugs. However, the course and development of the disease suggest that the psychological factor is far from the only one.
Hypothesis in case of impaired immunity
Research in the field of genetic theory of the origin of psoriasis has revealed that all patients have impaired cellular immunity. This resource is also inherited, but it can also arise as a result of genetic mutations. Scientists have suggested that, with a congenital or acquired predisposition, damaged skin may be subject to autoimmune aggression. That is, the body perceives the affected skin cells as hostile and attacks them.
This assumption was supported by blood tests of patients and the study of scales on plaques. It was found that in keratinized cells there are actually antigenic complexes, and antibodies to these complexes have been found in the blood. In healthy people, this is not seen in the blood or dermis.
These analyzes suggest that immunity disorders play an important role in the formation of the first outbreaks of psoriasis. In complex drug treatment, taking this fact into account, antihistamines are used to decrease the aggression of immunity to the cells themselves. However, there are still a number of factors that affect the course of the disease and its recurrences, although not related to immunology, therefore, of all the theories considered, none was accepted unanimously.
Causes of relapse that can be prevented
The search for the root cause of the disease has led to the emergence of a mass of theories and hypotheses that await its scientific justification. Although we have not been able to find a single cause, we have a wide list of factors that cause relapse.
The first of these factors is stress, negative changes in the nervous system become a trigger in the beginning of the disease and cause outbreaks of existing psoriasis. Given this fact, doctors recommend that their patients avoid stressful situations whenever possible.
Patients have an active lifestyle, sports, travel.
In about 14% of patients, scaly lichen starts at the sites of trauma and skin damage, this is possible if the person is already predisposed to psoriasis. Scratches, scratched bites or skin rashes can be the site of papules and plaques. Patients should carefully monitor the condition and cleanliness of the dermis, treat the wound site with hydrogen peroxide and apply dressings or plaster.
Regular use of moisturizers is also recommended to care for the body and scalp, as dry skin is more likely to relapse. It is necessary to abandon the exfoliating and peeling, the hard wipes, so as not to hurt the skin again. You need to hydrate the body with hypoallergenic creams, ointments or baby oils. At the first signs of a rash, you should not rely on comments and photos from the Internet to "establish" a diagnosis independently. This will only take precious time, it is better to consult a specialist.
The intake of medications (pills and medicinal ointments) should be monitored by a doctor, especially with regard to antibiotics and immunomodulators. Even the additional vitamins can cause the disease to progress, especially vitamins C, A, B. If you are infected with infections or fungi, you should definitely see a doctor and not self-medicate. It is important not to bring viral diseases to chronic forms and not to delay going to the doctor.
Proper nutrition is essential. Patients are given a diet that strengthens the body and reduces the risk of relapse. For each patient, this is an individual nutritional system based on the stage of the disease, the level of immunity and the presence of concomitant diseases. It is important not to break the rules of the prescribed diet, to avoid junk food, allergenic foods (honey, nuts, chocolate, citrus fruits, red foods, etc. ).
Thus, the patient must maintain a totally healthy lifestyle: exercise the body, monitor food and strengthen moral health. It also includes the mandatory refusal of alcohol, since even small doses cause the onset of the disease. These principles will serve to prevent not only psoriasis, but also many other diseases.