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Researchers discover possible cause of psoriasis
Psoriasis is a relatively common skin disease that affects millions of people. The disease is often easy to treat, but not generally curable. However, there is hope after researchers have identified a possible cause of psoriasis through tests on mice.
Two million Germans fall ill annually Psoriasis is a relatively widespread skin disease that often results in considerable mental stress for those affected. The disease is different for each patient and occurs only once in a lifetime for some. Around two million people fall ill each year in Germany and worldwide is one of the most common inflammatory skin diseases in the western world. Experts have long been looking for the exact causes of the disease. Researchers from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the University of Heidelberg have now found that a missing molecule in mice causes symptoms similar to psoriasis such as itchy rash.
Mice lacked certain protein The scientists focused on the “Wnt signaling pathway”, which plays an important role in embryonic development in humans and animals, but also in the growth of tumors. The mice used for the study lacked a certain protein, with the help of which "Wnt molecules" normally get out of the cell and trigger signals that, for example, lead to the production of messenger substances or drive cell growth.
Learning to understand complex processes The researchers also observed psoriasis-like symptoms in the mice. Iris Augustin from the DKFZ explained: "The skin becomes inflamed, new vessels develop, the skin cells multiply and scale." In addition, the skin of the mice contained fewer so-called DETCs, immune cells that normally ward off intruders and prevent inflammation. According to the scientists, the new findings offer the opportunity to “learn to understand the complex processes of inflammatory skin diseases.”
Patients suffer from sensitive and flaky skin Psoriasis patients usually suffer from dry, sensitive and flaky skin. Possible causes include genetic predisposition, environmental factors and an imbalance in the immune system. The function of the skin as a natural barrier against pathogens, chemical and physical stimuli is gradually lost. In the long term, this can lead to chronic inflammation, autoimmune reactions or even infections.
Treating psoriasis with home remedies Even though there are many effective medications to treat psoriasis, conventional medicine does not always have to be used. The less severe forms of itchy rash on psoriasis can often be successfully remedied by the external application of creams, ointments, lotions and tinctures, using a wide variety of ingredients. Some common natural remedies are lukewarm chamomile tea, with which the areas affected by psoriasis should be washed several times a day. Or healing earth, which is applied to the affected skin areas over several weeks. Full baths enriched with Dead Sea salt and a reduction in gluten-containing foods are also recommended. (ad)
Image: S. Hofschlaeger / pixelio.de.