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All The Facts You Need To Know About Psoriasis

A Condition To Be Carefully Looked At

There are many skin conditions out there and some are pretty common. One of the most common skin diseases is Psoriasis and it affects about 3% of the global population- with 7.5 million Americans afflicted with this condition.

Psoriasis is characterized by our body’s ability to produce too much skin cells at a much faster rate. It can affect both men and women and it is common between the ages of 15-35 and also in 50-60 years of age. There are even some cases where people can suffer the condition below the age of 10, but that only accounts for 15% of the cases. There is no real cure as of yet but, there are clinical trials being run with stem cell therapy at the forefront, showing promise of treating and even preventing psoriasis, so good news for the afflicted.

What Are the Symptoms?

It is a known fact that our bodies shed skin from time to time. In normal people, our skin sheds every 30 days, but for people with Psoriasis, their skin sheds at an alarmingly fast rate of just 3 days.

The main symptoms of this condition include red scaly patches that are often covered with silvery patches that shed very easily. It may also cause an intense itching and burning sensation when left untreated.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, this particular skin condition can be classified based on its severity. Mild Psoriasis affects less than 3% of your body; moderate psoriasis affects between 3-10% of the body, and severe cases would affect more than 10% of the body and the unveiling severity sparked the idea to look in other places for a treatment solution, such as stem cells.

In most cases, people would only suffer the mild version of the condition, but around 20% of the global population suffer from the more severe kind.

It must be known that psoriasis affects any part of the body, but they are common in some areas such as the knees, scalp, lower back, and elbows.

Different Types of Psoriasis

  • Plaque Psoriasis

This is the most common type of psoriasis as it affects 80% of the people who have this kind of skin condition. It is characterized by the presence of inflamed red lesions that are covered with silver scaly patches that shed easily.

  • Inverse Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis can be found in skin folds and areas near the genitals. It can be seen in the groin, under the breasts, armpits, and around the genital area as mentioned before. One characteristic of Inverse Psoriasis is that they are not covered with scaly patches like in the plaque psoriasis and they may appear shiny and smooth.

This type of psoriasis mainly affects people who are overweight and it is often aggravated by sweating and too much stress.

  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis

This is a more severe type of condition. It is characterized by too much plaque psoriasis that pretty much covers a large area of the body.

It is linked to an imbalance in the homeostasis of the body and it can lead to fluid and protein loss, as well as severe illness.

If you suspect that you have Erythrodermic Psoriasis, it would be best that you consult with your physician right away.

  • Guttate Psoriasis

Only affects people of young age, it can be seen as small red spots in the body and may disappear if there are no triggers (such as stress).

  • Pustular Psoriasis

As the name implies, pustules and some red skin surrounding it are the main symptoms of this type of psoriasis and generally affects the adult population.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis

Can be found in 40% of Psoriasis sufferers, it is characterized by the inflammation of the joints with symptoms which are similar to Arthritis.

From Skin Stem Cells to Working Muscles

From skin stem cells, scientists found a breakthrough when they’ve grown the first muscle cells that are fully functioning which can help better understand muscular diseases and how to treat them.

The skin cells were reprogrammed to revert back to its pluripotent or original state, and flooded them with Pax7, as substance that encourages the cells to grow into muscle cells, where from there they grew muscles.

Present and Future of Stem Cells

Biomedical engineer Lingjun Rao from Duke University stated that they took years of taking small steps and numerous trials and errors of trying to grow pluripotent stem cells into muscle cells until they finally succeeded.

The team nourished and provided structural support to their creation which allowed it to grow into full functioning muscles that respond to electrical and chemical signals similar to live muscles. The scientists implanted these muscles into mice where it began to integrate into the existing muscles of the mice – though not as strong as the natural muscles from the mice, it functioned well within.

Their new work opens up the potential to study rare diseases as per prof. Nenad Bursac who co-contributed to the study. Their previous experiments have grown successfully immature muscle cells called myoblasts into muscle. But the procedure would require harvesting muscle tissues from patients with muscular diseases which in this case would only cause more damage. Wherein their new work will remove the need to bring harm to the patients and simply grow muscles from other types of tissue like blood or skin that has been reverted back to its pluripotent state.

Functioning muscle fibers can be grown to an endless amount using this method from just a small sample of tissue according to Bursac.

Many studies about stem cells have pointed out the potential benefits that it can bring like creating a constant supply of blood or even reversing the process of aging.

Though stem cell therapy is still experimental to this point and their clinical applications would still require more proof of success.

This new finding on growing healthy muscles can help patients with muscular genetic diseases grown healthy muscles.