Have you heard of erythrodermic psoriasis?
If you haven’t, do not worry.
I didn’t either until one day; I was shocked to find out my neighbor was down with a rare disease that left the skin on her hands red. The surface was coming off in places as well. She had called me and had asked me to come over.
My neighbor lived all by herself, and she was in pain. I immediately contacted the doctor and took her to the hospital. The doctor told us that this was a case of erythrodermic psoriasis, an autoimmune disease. You might not be familiar with such medical terms, but it’s entirely possible that you might also have an aggressive inflammation at any part of your life.
You need to take immediate steps to deal with the severe impact of this disease. Though rarely people face such an advanced stage of psoriasis you need to have the knowledge to deal with such a life-threatening disease that starts spreading in your whole body once the flare strikes.
There are several subtypes of psoriasis, which is an autoimmune disease. Being affected with such a disease means that the immunity system of your body is mistakenly attacking the healthy cells of your body. The seven types of psoriasis are plaque, psoriatic arthritis, guttate, pustular, inverse and erythrodermic.
Out of these, we only concern ourselves with the last one, which is a sporadic form of psoriasis. It affects just about a small percentage of people who have psoriasis. A person who has erythrodermic psoriasis will have several symptoms. And it is entirely possible to develop several of these symptoms at the same time.
If you or anybody you know suffers from the following symptoms, make sure that you immediately consult a doctor.
1. Red skin all over your body, sometimes peeling and covered with scales.
3. Blisters with or without pus
4. An inflammatory rash in your whole body
Fever, increase in heartbeat and pain in the joints can accompany this condition. Your body temperature can fluctuate between extremes. More than 75% of the skin is affected by these symptoms. You might also develop extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Did you know!
People with psoriasis sometimes develop symptoms of depression. That also means that it is entirely possible for you to have symptoms of mental stress and anxiety if you have this disease. So if you know a friend who has been recently diagnosed with depression, ask her to get a second opinion immediately.
You might have heard of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells that are responsible for maintaining the immunity system of the body. If there is an overproduction of T-lymphocytes, then you are more susceptible to erythrodermic psoriasis.
When do I get this disease?
Erythrodermic psoriasis is an advanced stage of psoriasis. It is an autoimmune disease. It happens when your immune cells start targeting your healthy body tissue. Even today, scientific experts are not sure about the exact reason behind this disease.
Your chances of erythrodermic psoriasis increases if you are suffering from plaque psoriasis (especially an unstable condition), which is one of the most common types of psoriasis. You can also contract at any psoriasis simultaneously. In short, it can affect anybody.
But there are other causes as well. For example, if you are already on medication for the disease and you suddenly decided to stop it, then you have an increased chance of contracting the disease. Similarly, other things like sunburn, infection, drug abuse and extreme consumption of alcohol can also lead to this disease.
What differentiates this disease from other forms of psoriasis is the way it manifests. A large portion of your skin will peel off in this case, making it a hazardous condition to have for a prolonged period.
What leads to the flare up?
Psoriasis is considered to be a genetic condition, but the flare-up also triggers because of certain environmental factors.
The most prominent agents of psoriasis trigger include:
• The use of Corticosteroids in an excessive amount
• Leaving a medication in between prescribed to treat psoriasis
• Sunburn and excessive intake of alcohol
• An allergy due to a drug that triggers the koebner response, a type of psoriasis that develops due to an injury on your skin.
• Stress that can lead to hormonal imbalance
In most cases, it is seen that erythrodermic psoriasis occurs to only those people who already have a case history of chronic plaque psoriasis. If the condition of plaque psoriasis becomes unstable, there are high chances of this disease. However, it can also emerge for the first time both in children as well as people of other age groups.
The skin is that protective layer that keeps you from contracting other serious diseases. Now that your skin is severely affected, you are likely to contract other severe diseases like pneumonia, sepsis, protein loss and heart failure.
But with the right treatment from an experienced doctor, your chances of complicating the issue further can be severely decreased. A routine and thorough physical examination can be more than enough to identify the disease. The doctor can prescribe a range of treatments depending on the condition of your psoriasis. In some instances, the disease is fatal.
Differences between pustular psoriasis and erythrodermic psoriasis
Pustular psoriasis is generally mistaken for the disease that we have been discussing so far. It also manifests as red pustules all over the body, typically with the appearance of scales.
It is generally present in adults, but it can also affect children.
As a layman, it would be next to impossible to spot the differences between the two. But an excellent doctor would have no issues in correctly diagnosing the skin disease.
Make sure that you visit a very experienced board-certified doctor. Research thoroughly before you makes your decision. I did this before I rushed my neighbor to the hospital. Tell the doctor about your history of diseases and present lifestyle for accurate treatment. It is generally done to understand your medical history. Some of these questions are the following:
1. Have you had any psoriasis in the past?
2. Have you suffered from this particular disease in the past?
3. Have you abruptly stopped your medication?
You’ll undergo a physical examination of your body to check for red skin, plaques and joint pain. Sometimes, she will also ask you to do a few tests like a biopsy.
Effective treatment is essential to control the deadly skin condition and get relief. In some cases, the use of moisturizers and topical corticosteroid creams would suffice.
Doctors also prescribe oatmeal baths and wet wraps. This will help heal the broken skin. He would prescribe medications like cyclosporine and infliximab in certain other cases. These medicines are powerful.
To control cell growth, the doctor might prescribe another set of drugs. Make sure to check with the doctor about the side effects of these medicines before consuming them. Antibiotics will be mandated to prevent further diseases. You might need electrolyte replacement if your skin is severely affected.
You can adopt many methods to prevent this in the future. First of all, do not overstress yourself. Stressing yourself out can drastically increase your chances of contracting the disease in the future. Avoid drug abuse. Control your smoking habits. Also, keep your alcohol consumption in check.
Bear in mind that you can develop an allergic reaction to the medicine you are taking.
Is it possible to treat this disease at home itself?
We recommend seeing a doctor immediately if you have the disease. But there are certain things that you could do to control the spread of this disease. You can try out these beauty tips at home:
1) Taking certain supplements like aloe vera and fish oil, along with your daily food can reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. Again, we recommend extreme caution while doing this. Consultation to Doctor is vital before taking any of these homemade remedies. Also, be careful to check that you are not allergic to any of the supplements you are taking.
2) Prevent dry skin. After consulting with your doctor, purchase suitable moisturizer. Olive Oil is an excellent healing agent. Dab this liberally on affected areas.
3) Avoid chemicals that might irritate your skin. It’s always better to stay away from allergic medicines than deteriorating your health condition.
4) Supervise and tweak your diet to include more fatty foods. Decrease the amount of red meat on your diet as this tends to affect you severely.
5) Sometimes, a very hot bath can end up irritating your skin even more. Remember that your body is now in a very fragile condition and you do not want to aggravate it more than it already is. Take a long, lukewarm bath instead of a scaldingly hot one.
6) Reducing your stress levels for fast recovery is essential. If that is not possible, then try meditation and yoga.
7) A person who is affected with psoriasis needs a long time to recover. Hence you need to take proper treatment for early recovery. Make sure that you are always around your loved ones to provide them with whatever they require.
Your love and affection can help a person undergoing this chronic condition in getting rapid relief. You’ll heal through regular medication and proper treatment. So know the symptoms, treatment and possible remedies so that you can fight with it at any stage of your life.