PALMAR PLANTAR PSORIASIS TREATMENT
Palmar plantar psoriasis or psoriasis of the hands and feet usually affects the palms and soles, but can also occur on the backs of hands, upper feet, knuckles and nails. It is a chronic recurrent condition. Apart from being painful, it can pose other problems such as affecting quality of work, inability to walk and embarrassment due to the unpleasant sight of the lesions. If the condition is severe, it needs immediate medical attention.
The disease can be quite resistant to treatment and different approaches have to be followed before finding one that works effectively. Women are more commonly affected by it and it usually occurs in persons between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Heredity. It runs in families and is passed down through the generations though it rarely affects children.
- Smoking. The condition affects smokers and ex-smokers and those who use tobacco in other forms.
- Gluten. Sensitivity to gluten is also known to cause the condition.
- Strep throat. Tonsillar streptococcal infection also leads to the disease.
- Autoimmune. Believed to be so due to its connection with other autoimmune diseases such as type 2 diabetes, thyroid and celiac diseases.
Usually the fleshy areas of the palms and feet such as the base of the thumb and sides of the heel are affected by an outbreak of yellowish pustules of about 5 cm in size. The pustules occur on red patches of skin and are filled with pus or white blood cells. This pus however, is non-infectious. It takes about a week or two for the pustules to become small, lose their yellow color and get covered by brown scales which peel off. After this the disease becomes dormant for some time.
Though the disease is stubborn to treat, its symptoms can be managed with treatment. Mild cases can be treated with:
- Emollients or thick moisturizers used regularly to keep the skin hydrated and prevent painful cracks.
- Coal tar is applied at night and the skin covered with gloves and socks. This takes care of scaling and inflammation.
- Keratolytic or acidic substances such as salicylic acid and urea are used to cause thinning of the lesions and help in loosening and shedding them.
- Topical steroids that are potent such as clobetasol propionate are used due to penetrate the thickness of the affected skin.
- Ointments containing Vitamin D such as calcipotriol and dithranol are applied on the lesions.
- Soap substitutes may be used for cleansing.
- Soaking in warm water with an emulsifying ointment.
The more severe forms of hand and foot psoriasis are treated by using:
- Retinoids such as acitretin and arotinoid ethyl ester.
- Phototherapy sometimes used in conjunction with systemic steroids.
There are various remedies which can help to cure the disease naturally without any side-effects.
- Omega 3 is useful in controlling inflammation and improving the immune system. This can be obtained from flaxseeds and fish oil.
- Vitamin D is another important factor which is useful for the immune system. This can be got from spending time in natural sunlight for a maximum of fifteen minutes daily. It helps to reduce the lesions and slow down the growth of skin cells.
- Herbal teas which include dandelion and green tea have detoxifying and antiseptic properties. These antioxidants should be consumed regularly to reduce inflammation and maintain moisture.
- Smoking and consumption of alcohol should be avoided.
- Fatty and fried foods should be kept to a minimum to avoid weight gain.
- Exercise should be done daily to boost the immune system and also enhance mental health.