The Ins And Outs: World Psoriasis Day | People Magazine

The Ins And Outs: World Psoriasis Day

In its very essence, psoriasis is an incurable but manageable skin condition where cells rapidly regenerate on the surface of the epidermis. It can be unattractive and uncomfortable for those who suffer from it, but, luckily, 80 percent of the afflicted will suffer a mild variety thereof. In most cases the itching and, by default, scratching can be controlled with good skin care and an effective treatment plan. Severe, uncontrolled psoriasis can lead to heart complications if not treated.

It is a fairly common disease whereby skin cells experience a rapid cyclical lifespan. This in turn causes said cells to build up on the skin’s surface. This means that skin cells fail to shed at their intended pace. As a result a visible, scale or crust-like thickening, most often red in colour, develops on the skin. Psoriasis is classified as a chronic disease and the best possible treatments aim to stop skin cells from growing too quickly. Here’s how.

Signs, Symptoms And Causes

First, let’s examine the causes and typical symptoms. While there are several types of psoriasis like plaque, nail, guttate and pustular psoriasis no specific cause has been found. Most medical experts agree that problems with a person’s immune system can be the root cause. There are also an assortment of external factors and behaviours that may either trigger or aggravate an individual’s condition. A family history of psoriasis severely increases a child’s risk to contract it.

Symptoms

  • Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
  • Small scaling spots
  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
  • Itching, burning or soreness
  • Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
  • Joint pain

Triggers

  • Strep and skin infections
  • Bruises, scrapes, cuts, bites and sunburn
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Certain medications, especially lithium. Consult a doctor for a comprehensive list

Treatment 

If psoriasis is not effectively treated it may lead to the development of other serious medical condition. Arthritis, eye disorders, obesity, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disorders, type 2 diabetes and emotional problems can develop because of it. It can however go into remission, leaving a normal-looking skin surface. The three most common types of treatments are topical, by means of phototherapy or oral or injected medications.

Topical Treatments:

  • Topical corticosteroids.
  • Mild corticosteroid ointments
  • Vitamin D analogues
  • Anthralin
  • Calcineurin inhibitors.
  • Salicylic acid
  • Coal tar
  • Moisturizers

Phototherapy

  • Sunlight
  • UVB phototherapy
  • Narrow band UVB phototherapy
  • Goeckerman therapy
  • Psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA
  • Excimer laser

Oral And Injected Medications (used in severe cases) 

  • Retinoids
  • Methotrexate
  • Cyclosporine
  • Medicine that alter the immune system (biologics)
Robert

Robert

Robert is a descendant of the stout Macpherson Clan out of the Scottish Highlands and can claim Robert the Bruce as a far-off cousin. He suffers from a severe form of Collectors’ Disease and sports an assortment of small valuable curious. In his spare time he works a full-time job, but his real prowess lies within his musical aptitude as a drummer. He is a semi-amateur of the instrument and although he claims beating a drumhead one of the more primal sensations man can experience, he feels it to be an unnatural exercise to pursue. If he could have his way, he’d have breakfast every meal of the day and is a fan of all things Roald Dahl.

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