Psoriasis affects more than 125 million people worldwide. This disease, characterized by severe inflammation and autoimmune problems, has been the subject of several studies examining the efficacy of CBD in dermatology. So, can CBD help with the symptoms of psoriasis? Read on to find out.
A few years ago, the idea of using CBD as a possible treatment was met with a lot of criticism. But today, there is a growing body of research showing its effectiveness in relieving all kinds of diseases and symptoms, including dermatological conditions such as psoriasis.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what psoriasis is, and how CBD-rich hemp therapies could revolutionize the treatment of this condition.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects about 125 million people worldwide, which is approximately 2-3% of the world’s population. It causes patches of red, scaly, itchy skin, mainly on the elbows, knees, trunk and scalp.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease that cannot be cured and often causes flare-ups before subsiding for a period of time. Fortunately, the symptoms of psoriasis can be managed and controlled through a combination of natural remedies, prescription drugs and lifestyle changes.
There are several types of psoriasis, which are classified according to the part of the body affected and the symptoms produced. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, which usually causes dry, reddened lesions on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back. On the other hand, inverse psoriasis affects the skin folds in the groin, or under the breasts and buttocks, causing smooth patches of reddened skin.
Other types of psoriasis include:
- Nail psoriasis, which causes pitted, discolored nails with abnormal growth.
- Guttate psoriasis, which usually affects children/young adults, and is often triggered by a viral infection such as strep throat.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis, which can cover the entire body with a red, scaly rash.
- Arthritic psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain and inflammation in the joints (sometimes arthritis may be the only symptom a psoriasis patient experiences).
Summary of psoriasis symptoms
- Red patches on the skin with silvery scales
- Dry, cracked, itchy skin, which may bleed
- Burning or pain in the affected areas
- Swollen, painful joints
- Pus lesions on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
- Deformed and discolored fingernails
What are the causes of psoriasis?
Psoriasis, considered an autoimmune disease, is thought to be caused by the abnormal growth of skin cells. In people affected by psoriasis, the skin regenerates much faster than normal; and this rapid accumulation/renewal of skin cells is what causes the inflamed patches of skin that characterize this disease.
However, the exact cause of abnormal skin growth in psoriasis is not known. At the moment, researchers suggest that it may be due to genetics. On the other hand, some patients may develop psoriasis suddenly in response to certain triggers, such as an injury, a viral infection or an environmental change. Possible triggers for psoriasis include:
- Strep throat, especially in children and adolescents.
- Environmental changes: Cold, dry weather, for example, can trigger psoriasis in some people.
- Damaged skin: Insect bites, cuts, scrapes or sunburns can also trigger psoriasis or a flare-up.
- Stress: people with psoriasis often experience flare-ups in response to stress caused by work, academic, social, etc.
- Smoking and alcohol abuse: Some people may also experience a psoriasis flare-up after exposure to secondhand smoke.
- Medications: some prescription drugs can trigger psoriasis, such as lithium, antimalarial drugs and blood pressure medications. In some people, sudden discontinuation of corticosteroids can also trigger psoriasis.
In addition to these triggers, physicians have determined that the main risk factor for this disease is a family history of psoriasis.
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