What causes it? Its cause is unknown, but it is genetically determined. It is often familial, but does not appear to be inherited in any regular dominant, sex-linked or recessive way. The disease has been found to be of greater frequency in men than in women. It is less common in African and Asian groups. Recent research suggests that an abnormality in the immune system could be an important factor. External stressors like an acute emotional trauma may trigger an inherited defect in the immune function and produce the symptoms of psoriasis.
What are the symptoms? Well-defined red scaling patches on the extensor surface of the body, especially the knees, elbows and the scalp, characterize this disease. Each patch has a well-demarcated margin and is raised above the skin surface. The affected skin is a variable shade of red and the surface is often thrown up into large silvery scales. The nails may also show various changes like “thimble-pitting”, separation or deformities of the nail plate, brownish-black discoloration etc.
Psoriasis is a life long disorder that is subjected to unpredictable remissions and relapses.
The following drugs are important aids in the treatment of psoriasis:
Lycopodium It is suited to persons who are mentally keen, but of weak muscular power. They are apprehensive and afraid to be alone. They are extremely sensitive and little things annoy them. Typically, the patient appears emaciated (he is thin and withered), and full of gas. The right side of the body is peculiarly affected and all the complaints seem to increase in the evening, especially between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Skin diseases are often associated with urinary, gastric or liver disorders. The skin becomes thick and indurated. There is violent itching and the skin may show cracks and fissures. It is dry and shrunken. The abdomen is bloated (especially the lower part), and feels full immediately after a meal. There is dyspepsia due to fermentable food like cabbages, peas and beans. They like to eat sweet things and enjoy warm food and drinks.
Ars. iodatum The skin is dry and itches. There is a scaling of the skin, and large scales fall off leaving a raw surface with an exudation. Sometimes the beard region is affected which itches and causes an oozing of a watery fluid.
Kali arsenicosum There is an intolerable itching of the skin which is worse from warmth, walking and especially undressing. The skin is dry and scaly; it appears wilted. There are fissures in the bends of the elbows and the knees. The patient is generally nervous, restless and anemic and worse from every change in the weather.
Kali sulphuricum is a Biochemic remedy which is useful for the scaling of the skin as seen in Psoriasis. All ailments are accompanied by excessive desquamation. The scales are large and yellow in color.
Natrum muriaticum is useful in patients with a greasy skin. There are dry and crusty eruptions, especially on the margin of the hair and the bends of joints. The skin appears raw, red and inflamed. The psoriasis may follow grief, disappointment, anger or fright. The person is depressed and does not take kindly to consolation and sympathy. He may be prone to attacks of migraine, usually affecting the left side of the head. The symptoms are made worse from warmth, mental exertion, 10 a.m., and relieved in the open air and from bathing with cold water. Exposure to the sun also aggravates the skin complaints.
A detailed history followed by constitutional treatment by good and qualified homeopathic specialists is necessary to treat psoriasis. It is not advisable to resort to self-medication for any disease. The above mentioned drugs are just a few of the remedies for psoriasis and are mentioned solely to create awareness about the efficacy of homeopathy in this disease.