Psoriasis is a common chronic skin condition that affects people of all ages, although it is most common in young adults. It is a non-curable condition that can be embarrassing and cause emotional distress because of its unattractive appearance on the skin. It is often worse in cold weather and may come and go for no apparent reason throughout your life. It affects all races around the world, and all ages from small children to senior citizens. Caucasians are twice as susceptible to the disease as African Americans.
What is Psoriasis?
While there is no known cause, psoriasis is assumed to be a combination of environmental and genetic factors that cause rapid skin cell reproduction which results in dry, red patches of thickened skin that develops into scales and flakes. It is usually found on the scalp, knees and elbows. Severe cases can cover a person’s entire body.
What are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis not look the same everywhere on the body, but it often appears as small, flattened bumps on raised red or pink patches of skin. Because it is dry, it is also very flaky, but don’t try to pull the flaky patches off as it may cause bleeding.
Several types of psoriasis look like small drops or liquid-filled blisters. These are usually found under the arms or in the navel or buttocks. There are also genital lesions that can be found on the penis. White spots on the fingernails might be nail psoriasis and psoriasis on the scalp often looks like dandruff.
How Do You Treat Psoriasis?
Like most other skin conditions, the treatment of psoriasis depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases that involve less than 10% of the body can be effectively treated with topical skin creams or lotions. Sometimes a local injection of steroids can help in particularly resistant areas.
Topical products are less effective on moderate psoriasis covering larger areas. This includes more severe cases as well because sometimes the very location of the outbreak may make it difficult to apply lotions or creams. Treatments for these more severe cases may include injections, pills, light treatments, or stronger medications with the treatment decision being based on the severity of the psoriasis. These stronger medications, however, may mean an increased risk for some people.
A common practice in psoriasis treatment is to rotate the treatments used every six to twelve months in order to minimize any possible side effects. An example might be to use light therapy for a year, and then switch to injections of biologic drugs to ensure that the individual is getting optimal treatments with minimum risks.
How to Have Healthier Skin with Psoriasis
Psoriasis can develop spontaneously in people and then disappear just as suddenly. This chronic inflammatory skin condition can improve with proper care and may even go into remission. With so many types of treatments available, including light therapy and biologic drugs that offer promising results, psoriasis is definitely treatable and can be controlled.
If you have psoriasis, it is essential that you seek advice from a dermatologist or skin care professional. The skin care products that you use can affect your skin dramatically, so you need guidance before you make a purchase. Take protective measures for sensitive skin and buy products that treat the symptoms of psoriasis while minimizing outbreaks.