"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Psoriasis: greater than skin deep

The first valid medical discussion of psoriasis dates back to 1801, however the disease itself is way older. In fact, it derives its name from an ancient Greek word meaning itchy or itchy condition. About 7 million Americans suffer from this rash and scaling, and plenty of of them have serious complications involving other organs. Although psoriasis is assessed as a dermatologic disease, it doesn't start within the skin, and the damage can go deeper than the skin.

Underneath all of it

At a basic level, psoriasis is a disorder of the immune system. White blood cells called T-helper lymphocytes grow to be more energetic, producing more cytokines, resembling tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-2, and interferon-gamma. In turn, these chemicals trigger inflammation within the skin and other organs. In the skin, inflammation produces three characteristic results: dilation of blood vessels, accumulation of white blood cells, and abnormal rapid multiplication of keratinocytes, the essential cells within the outer layer of the skin. In healthy skin, it takes a couple of month for keratinocytes to divide, mature, migrate to the surface of the skin, and make way for younger cells. But in psoriasis, the entire process is accelerated by three to 5 days. The result's thick, red skin that sheds the silvery scales of keratinocytes which have matured prematurely (see Figure 1).