Welcome, come to our first series of what you need to know about Inflammatory Skin Disease. In this series, we will write about Psoriasis.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease caused by an increased rate of skin cell turnover, resulting in thick scales appearing on the skin.
The skin usually becomes inflamed leaving a red hue. The affected skin results in being dry and unsightly.
Apart from its appearance, patients might experience itch as one of the most distressing symptoms.
Do You Have Psoriasis?
This condition usually presents with a rash that looks like salmon pink patches with silvery scales. It can appear anywhere on the scalp, body, back and limbs.
The scaly patches on the scalp are usually thicker and commonly it affects the elbows, the knees and the back.
This condition can affect the nails leading to a “pitting” appearance.
Patient with severe psoriasis might experience joint pain, swelling or tenderness.
Why Does Psoriasis Happen?
Studies show that patients with this condition can run in the family and it might be started by factors such as infection, or certain medications.
Studies have also shown that the imbalance in the immune system has a correlation with psoriasis.
What you shouldn’t do that might worsen Psoriasis?
Physical and emotional stress are well known to aggravate psoriasis.
Do try to lead a healthy lifestyle like eating healthily and exercising regularly. Exercise is strongly recommended as apart from keeping healthy it helps to alleviate stress. In addition, exercising outdoors with sun exposure will benefit your condition.
Throat infections or flu may also aggravate the disease as well thus it is important to strengthen your Immune system through a good balance diet.
Some medications may provoke the appearance of psoriasis.
Patients with falls causing skin injury might trigger a flare of psoriasis.
It is also important to use the medications as prescribed by your physician. It is also recommended to keep hydrated and employ the use of emollients to prevent your skin from drying out and itching.
Most importantly, do not scratch your skin as this may worsen your condition. There are anti-itch menthol cream or medications which might alleviate from the itch.
What are the Different Treatments for Psoriasis?
1) Topical medications
Most people with this condition have mild disease and get considerable relief with topical applications. These include topical steroids, coal tar and vitamin D cream.
However, your physician will advise you on the uses of the different medication.
Patient with psoriasis may also try Ultraviolet light treatment. The patient undergoes Ultraviolet-B light treatment few sessions a week over a period of several months.
However, it is worth noting that each patient can only be subjected to a certain number of sessions during their lifetime
3) Oral medications
If your condition is not responsive to the above medications, there are third line treatment such as oral medications.
Unfortunately, these drugs may suppress your immune system and cause severe side effects.
There are also risks involved and these include damage to the liver, kidney, causing you to have reduced red blood cells or even causing harm to your foetus if you are pregnant.
Is Psoriasis a Rare Skin Disease?
No, psoriasis is not an uncommon skin disease and it is not infectious. It cannot be passed on to other patients through contact.
Is there a cure for Psoriasis?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis. However, most patients are able to achieve a good control over their condition and able to lead normal healthy life just like everyone else.
There are multiple studies that show that psoriasis has strong associations with other diseases. Obesity, Diabetes, Liver problems and high cholesterol are some of the examples.
Thus, apart from keeping psoriasis at bay, it is also extremely important to have your routine health check. Some blood tests that might be done include a check of your sugar and cholesterol levels.