What Is Psoriasis, and Is There A Cure?

Close to 2 to 3 percent of adults over the age of 20 are affected by psoriasis skin disorder in America. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) estimates that close to 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis.  Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory autoimmune skin condition that significantly hastens the lifecycle of skin cells thus consequently bringing about the rapid buildup of cells on the surface of the skin. Typically, people’s skin cells grow deep under the skin slowly and gradually over the course of one month then eventually fall off. For people with psoriasis, this slow process is sped up to a life cycle of just a couple of days. As such, the rapid overproduction does not give the cells enough time to fall off so they just build up on the surface of the skin.

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The excess skin cells often present themselves as red patches that are very itchy and uncomfortable. Another characteristic of the patches is the silver or white scales that form over the affected areas. Some of the common areas affected by psoriasis are the hands, feet, neck, scalp, and face. The less common parts affected by the illness are the mouth, nails, and genital area.

Psoriasis is a periodic illness, most types of the ailment go through cycles where there will be some flaring for a couple of weeks or months and then the inflammation of the skin will subside for a period of time or simply go into remission. Though, it is good to note that the cycle depends on the type of psoriasis affecting an individual.

The various types of psoriasis include:

Plaque Psoriasis (Psoriasis Vulgaris) – This is the most common type of psoriasis that affects about 80% of people suffering from the condition in America. Plaque psoriasis is characterized by three hallmarks:  inflamed thickened skin, the formation of red plaques, and whitish-silver skin scales. This type of psoriasis can occur anywhere on the human body, however, it often affects the elbow, knee, and scalp region.

Guttate Psoriasis – Cases of this form of psoriasis are typically found amongst children and young adults. Guttate psoriasis is triggered by bacterial infections like strep that lead to the formation of small scaling lesions on one’s legs, torso, and arms. Unlike plaque psoriasis, the adhesions are covered by a very fine scale. An outbreak of this type psoriasis can be a small mark that comes and goes on its own or a repeated outbreak. 

Pustular Psoriasis- Mostly affecting adults, pustular psoriasis presents itself as pus-filled blisters and large areas of red inflamed skin. This form of psoriasis is typically localized to small parts of the body i.e. the feet and hands.

Inverse Psoriasis- Mainly found under the breasts, around the genitals, and in the armpit region, inverse psoriasis presents itself as large smooth patches of red inflamed skin. These adhesions get worse by any form of friction and sweating.

Psoriasis Arthritis – On top of having inflamed and scaly skin, people can also suffer from psoriasis arthritis which causes the joints that are typical of arthritis to swell and pain. Despite the pain not being as crippling as other types of psoriasis, individuals may suffer from progressive joint damage and stiffness.

Is there a cure for Psoriasis?

As of now, there isn’t a cure for psoriasis, but scientists are in the process of identifying one. Earlier last year in March, members of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) held a conference whose sole mission was to discover and create a permanent cure for psoriasis.

Some of the best American Psoriasis Doctors:

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) Medical Board has identified the following medical practitioners as the nation’s top psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis experts:

Dr. Jerry Bagel, the medical director at the Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central New Jersey. His other professional job titles include being a dermatology instructor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York and Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, and senior attending physician at the University Medical Center at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Dr. Jeffrey J. Crowley, a dermatologist at the Bakersfield Dermatology & Skin Cancer Medical Group in Bakersfield and a burgeoning medical assistant professor in the department of medicine at UCLA.

Dr. Kristina Callis Duffin, the assistant professor in the department of dermatology at the University Of Utah School Of Medicine in Salt Lake City.

Dr. Linda Stein Gold, the director of clinical research in the department of dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield, Mich.

Dr. Arthur Kavanaugh, a professor of medicine in the department of rheumatology, allergy and immunology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. 

Dr. Stefan C. Weiss, the medical director at the Weiss Skin Institute in Boca Raton, Fla., and a volunteer faculty member at the University of Miami School of Medicine Jackson Memorial Hospital.

These medical professionals are the thought leaders in the dermatology world and have dedicated their time and resources to treating individuals affected by psoriasis.

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Research Backing Up the Use of CBD Cannabidiol to Treat Psoriasis

The underlying system affected by psoriasis is the immune system, and as recent research indicates, the cannabinoids in CBD cannabidiol can be used to help manage the effects of psoriasis through the interaction of the endocannabinoid system and the immune system. Studies show that cannabinoids’ interaction with cannabinoid receptors within the endocannabinoid system (ECS) help regulate proper function of the immune system.

Recently, a literature review published by Prakash Nagarkatti, Rupal Pandey, Sadiye Amcaoglu Rieder, Venkatesh L. Hedgem, and Mitzi Nagarkatti titled Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs posits that the anti-inflammatory and regulatory effects of cannabinoids on the immune system make CBD cannabidiol a powerful treatment agent for psoriasis.

Therefore, it is safe to conclude that all hope is not lost when it comes to the treatment of psoriasis. While there may not yet be a definitive cure for psoriasis, there are other treatment agents. CBD cannabidiol included, that can help alleviate the pain and discomfort that psoriasis patients experience. For more, please see our CBD research section keeps track of the latest research findings. We also write about other stress related illnesses, such as anxiety and depression which may be of interest. 

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