Psoriasis- what it is and how to live with it
Psoriasis is a disease of the auto immune system that affects the skin. It causes the over production of skin cells, which leads to raised legions of dry, flaky skin. These legions can be itchy and painful.
It is thought to affect up to 3% of the population, and is most common in adults, although it can affect anyone at any age. It is non-contagious, and although incurable at the present time, there are many which help alleviate the symptoms.
In most sufferers it will only affect the skin, however a small percentage will also develop psoriatic arthritis, causing joint pain and discomfort.
Whilst psoriasis is something which sufferers have to learn to live with, there are a variety of treatments available to ease symptoms.
Over the counter
For milder cases, over the counter moisturising creams and lotions provide relief from cracked and dry skin. These emollients can sometimes be enough to treat small flare ups and helps to keep your skin moisturised and protected from the elements. A proportion of these creams are designed using natural ingredients helping avoid using unnecessary chemicals on your skin.
For cases where your scalp is affected, there are specialist shampoos and conditioners available that are mild enough not to aggravate the condition and that help to soothe and calm your scalp.
If the over the counter solutions aren’t proving effective enough, or your symptoms are more severe then it is likely that your doctor might prescribe you a medicated cream. These creams will act as a moisturiser, bringing all the benefits of the over the counter treatments, but will contain an additional ingredient to help promote healing and reduce swelling and pain.
These added ingredients could be cortesteroids, coal tar or vitamin D.
For widespread psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe sessions of phototherapy treatment. This involved exposing your skin to controlled doses of UVB light in a chamber – similar to a sun bed, but the UV light is accurately controlled and at the correct frequency to benefit your skin.
In cases of severe or widespread psoriasis, your doctor might prescribe tablets. These will usually be immunosuppressants which are designed to prevent your body from reacting to the stimuli that are causing excessive skin cell production.
Learning the patterns
For some psoriasis suffers there will be triggers which set off a flare up. Known triggers that have been reported include stress, smoking, alcohol and certain foods. Keeping a diary of what you eat and drink can help identify triggers, allowing you to avoid future flare ups.
Posted under How To Cure Psoriasis
This post was written by TKB_Editor on July 5, 2011