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Le psoriasis nummulaire.

Nummular Psoriasis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Psoriasis is a chronic and progressive skin disease characterized by the presence of red patches covered with scales. It can take several forms and is accompanied by fairly common symptoms from one person to another. Nummular psoriasis is one of these forms. This article focuses on its characteristics.

Published February 20, 2024, by Manon, Scientific Editor — 5 min read

The causes of nummular psoriasis.

The psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the skin and joints. It presents as red, thick plaques that shed. Psoriasis is characterized by an excessive renewal and accumulation of epidermal cells, leading to a local inflammation. Therefore, it is a relatively common disease, which is neither contagious nor of psychological origin.

Of all the forms of psoriasis, nummular psoriasis is the least known to the general public. The reason for this is that nummular psoriasis is less common than the so-called "plaque" psoriasis, which is the classic form.

The causes of nummular psoriasis are identical to those of classic psoriasis. It is an autoimmune disease caused by a failure of the body's immune system. The lymphocytes present in the epidermis are abundant. They produce inflammatory cells (cytokines Il-17, Il-22, TNF-alpha). These stimulate the proliferation of keratinocytes, which leads to a faster cellular renewal process, typically going from three weeks to three days. The result is an accumulation of immature keratinocytes on the skin's surface, increasing the thickness of the outer layer (the stratum corneum).

The symptoms associated with nummular psoriasis.

Nummular psoriasis is a disease that is neither dangerous nor contagious. This form of psoriasis is accompanied by several symptoms. The main characteristic of nummular psoriasis is identical to all forms of psoriasis, which is the appearance of red patches covered with scales. The difference between nummular psoriasis and classic psoriasis lies in the size of the patches. Those of nummular psoriasis have a unique rounded shape, comparable in size to a coin, hence its name 'nummular', which means 'coin' in Latin. These patches can itch and provide a sensation of warmth. Moreover, nummular psoriasis can appear on several areas of the human body such as the nipples, nails, scalp, or even the face.

How to treat nummular psoriasis?

Today, there is still no treatment that can permanently cure psoriasis. However, it is still possible to alleviate the symptoms of the disease by using treatments containing ingredients that act on psoriasis.

  • Dermocorticoid-based treatments: Inflammation can be reduced by using a treatment containing a dermocorticoid such as cortisone. When applied topically, dermocorticoids help soothe the skin by combating inflammation. They inhibit the NF-kB transcription factor by activating the transcription of the IkB gene, thereby conferring anti-inflammatory effects. Dermocorticoids are available in the form of ointment, lotion, or cream.

  • The use of keratolytic-based skincare treatments: Psoriasis lesions often present a large number of scales or immature dead cells that cannot be naturally eliminated. Keratolytic active ingredients help to remove these dead cells and promote the elimination of scales. Among these active ingredients we can mention: the salicylic acid, the glycolic acid, urea, etc.

  • Phototherapy: This type of therapy is intended for lesions covering at least 10% of the body surface. It is a way to treat psoriasis by projecting ultraviolet rays onto the affected area. The goal is to reproduce the beneficial effects of the sun on psoriasis.

  • Moisturizing care: To reduce irritation, it is appropriate to moisturize the skin using a cream or lotion. Hydration helps to soothe itching. It is recommended to moisturize the skin after each shave.

  • The use of essential oils: Some essential oils also help to alleviate psoriasis. The most commonly used for this purpose are the lavender essential oil, the tea tree essential oil or even chamomile essential oil. However, it is recommended to use them only under the supervision of a professional.


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