Psoriasis is a chronic immune disorder that causes itchy, painful plaques to develop on the skin. The psoriasis rash can develop anywhere on the body, including the chest. As the rash progresses, the bumps on the chest may become larger and red and purple plaques with silvery scales may develop.
Psoriasis is not contagious, which means that a person with this condition cannot pass it on to another person. It is a systemic disease, which means that it affects the body from within.
This article explores psoriasis, including types and symptoms. It also deals with diagnosis and treatment.
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated condition, meaning that the condition is due to inflammation caused by an impaired immune system. Visible signs of inflammation are often scales or raised plaques.
The overactive immune system accelerates cell growth. While skin cells normally peel off within a month, psoriasis causes skin cells to grow faster, in just 3-4 days. This rapid growth means that hair loss is ineffective and skin cells pile up on top of each other causing plaque and dandruff. The condition may cause a feeling of burning, itching, or stinging.
Psoriasis can develop anywhere on the skin, including the chest, but is most common on the knees, scalp, and elbows.
What does psoriasis look like?
Psoriasis appears differently on other skin colors than on white skin. The condition is more common among whites, with psoriasis affecting approximately 3.6 percent of whites in the United States, compared with 1.9% of African and Hispanic Americans.
While white people with psoriasis typically have red, scaly plaques, people of color will experience darker stains and the skin may become thicker. The skin may be purple, dark brown, or gray rather than red. For this reason, psoriasis can be more likely to be misdiagnosed and go undiagnosed in people of color.
The condition is also often more severe in people of color. Studies have found that Asians and Hispanics suffer more from psoriasis than white people.
With this in mind, researchers need to conduct more studies on how psoriasis affects the skin of people of color, particularly in black people, as most research involves white patients.
Psoriasis wird oft mit anderen Erkrankungen in Verbindung gebracht oder mit ihnen verwechselt. Dazu gehören:
- Ekzeme: Ärzte diagnostizieren Psoriasis manchmal als Ekzem. Eine australische Studie ergab, dass bei den meisten Kindern mit Psoriasis zunächst von ihren Ärzten ein Ekzem diagnostiziert wurde. In einigen Fällen entwickeln Personen sowohl Psoriasis als auch Ekzeme, so dass es zu Überschneidungen der Zustände kommen kann. Ein Dermatologe wird in der Regel in der Lage sein, zwischen diesen beiden Gesundheitsproblemen zu unterscheiden.
- Ringworm: Dies ist eine Pilzinfektion, die als Tinea oder Dermatophytose bezeichnet wird. Die Leute bezeichnen es als Ringwurm, weil es einen ringförmigen Ausschlag verursachen kann, der normalerweise rot ist und juckt.
- Pityriasis rosea: Dieser Zustand verursacht einen Hautausschlag, der häufig als großer ovaler Fleck auf der Haut beginnt, gefolgt von kleineren Flecken oder kleinen Beulen. Der Ausschlag kann überall auf der Haut auftreten und tritt häufig an Brust, Bauch und Rücken auf. Es kann grippeähnliche Symptome und Juckreiz begleiten.
- Gürtelrose: Ein schmerzhafter Hautausschlag, der im Allgemeinen nur auf einer Seite des Körpers oder des Gesichts auftritt. Es entwickelt sich zu Blasen, die normalerweise innerhalb von 7—10 Tagen schorfen.
Menschen mit Psoriasis haben mit größerer Wahrscheinlichkeit einige andere Erkrankungen, darunter:
- entzündliche Darmerkrankungen wie Morbus Crohn,
- Uveitis, eine Entzündung des Auges
- metabolisches Syndrom
What are the different types of psoriasis?
There are various types of psoriasis, including:
This is the type of psoriasis that is most likely to appear on the chest and develop as small, round, red patches that result from inflammation. Guttate psoriasis affects approximately 8% of those affected.
Chronic plaque psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type and affects up to 80% of those affected. The plaques can appear anywhere on the body, including the chest. They present themselves as raised, inflamed areas of skin that can be red or purple with silvery scales, and they can be itchy and painful.
This type of psoriasis affects about 25% of people and develops most often in the skin folds, in areas such as under the breasts, in the genital area, and in the armpits. Inverse psoriasis usually shows up as inflamed, dark red skin. While it doesn’t cause dandruff or plaque, it can be painful and itchy.
This species affects approximately 3% of people with psoriasis. Symptoms include inflamed, red skin and white, pus-filled, painful bumps. It can cover most of the body or occur in specific areas such as feet and hands.
This type of psoriasis is rare and affects approximately 2% of those affected. It is severe and can cause severe redness and rashes that peel off in large leaves. It can affect the entire body and be life-threatening. Other symptoms include changes in temperature and heart rate, severe pain and itching, and dehydration.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of psoriasis are due to inflammation. They may vary from person to person, but may include:
- Patchy, thick skin that is red or darker, with silvery scales that itch or burn
- , chapped skin that bleeds or itches
- , thick, ribbed nails.
Psoriasis symptoms tend to flare up and people with this condition may have periods where symptoms get worse and then subside when they feel better.
What causes the condition?
Doctors don’t fully understand what triggers psoriasis, but it has several associations, including the following.
A person is at higher risk of developing psoriasis if they have parents, grandparents, or siblings with psoriasis.
When a person has psoriasis, their white blood cells fail. White blood cells normally attack viruses and bacteria, but the condition causes them to attack the skin, causing the body to produce more new skin cells faster than usual. The extra skin cells pile up on the skin surface.
Once this condition sets in, it usually continues for the rest of a person’s life and becomes chronic.
Common triggers for psoriasis include:
- skin injuries such as sunburn,
- some medications, including hydroxychloroquine and lithium infections
- , such as sore throat
- cold, dry weather,
- tobacco alcohol
How is psoriasis diagnosed?
A dermatologist diagnoses psoriasis by examining a person’s scalp, nails, and skin for signs of the condition. They’ll ask about symptoms of the condition, including itchy skin, joint problems, or a family history of psoriasis.
Sometimes a dermatologist can do a biopsy by removing a piece of skin. By examining this sample, they can confirm whether a person has psoriasis or not.
How is the disease treated?
A dermatologist treats psoriasis according to the severity of the condition and its location on the body. With psoriasis on the chest, a person may receive topical medications that can be applied directly to the skin, medications that work throughout the body, or light therapy. These drugs may include corticosteroids, synthetic vitamin D, retinoids, and coal tar. During light therapy or phototherapy, a doctor or dermatologist emits UV light onto the skin.
A person can make changes to their diet, which can help improve psoriasis. Anti-inflammatory foods include:
- Dietary fiber
- nuts and seeds
- oily fish
Psoriasis is a chronic immune disease that triggers inflammation. It can occur anywhere on the body, including the chest. While people of color may have more psoriasis than white people, more research needs to focus on the effects of psoriasis on the skin of people of color.
Different types of psoriasis include plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic skin, while symptoms include patchy, dry, chapped, and scaly skin. Psoriasis can be due to genetics, the immune system, and certain triggers such as dry weather. Treatment may include medication, phototherapy, or dietary changes.