Psoriasis and the management

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Psoriasis is one of the most common skin conditions. It is a hereditary skin condition, though it may skip some generations.  Even if psoriasis runs in your family, it will not develop unless you are exposed to a trigger factor. Some of these factors are:

·        mental stress

·        weight gain

·        certain medicines

·        cold and dry weather

·        injury

·        a severe sunburn

·        strep throat

·        smoking

·        alcohol  

 

Psoriasis appears as reddish patches of skin covered with silvery scales that tend to itch and hurt. Psoriasis occurs when the immune system becomes overactive and causes certain areas of skin to produce new cells more rapidly than usual.  This causes the thick, scaly build-up seen in psoriasis plaques. It can appear almost anywhere on the body. Psoriasis patches vary in size from person to person. They can range from small spots to patches that cover large areas of skin.

The most common type is Plaque psoriasis. This is marked by patches on the trunk and limbs, especially the elbows and knees, and on the scalp.

Inverse psoriasis affects skin under the arm, around the groin and buttocks, or under the breast. The red patches may be moist rather than scaling.

Pustular psoriasis has small pustules spread over the body.

Guttate psoriasis causes teardrop-sized patches.

Psoriasis is not a contagious disease and does not spread through touch. Men are more likely to suffer from psoriasis than women. People with psoriasis may feel self-conscious or embarrassed about the way their skin looks and hesitate to socialize.

It is difficult to completely cure psoriasis. What we can try is to manage and avoid flare ups. At times, psoriasis stays away for months or even years, and then reappears. The condition can be brought under control if we pay a little attention to our diet. A Mediterranean diet, including fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, fruit, nuts, and extra-virgin olive oil is advisable to psoriasis patients.  Bear in mind the following and avoid flare ups

  • Prevent sunburn
  • Avoid insect bites
  • Avoid scratching skin
  • Moisturize skin every day
  •  Avoid heavy weight gain

Topical treatments including ointments, creams shampoos etc can soothe the uneasiness and irritation of skin. Phototherapy is also recommended for slowing skin growth and reducing inflammation. Phototherapy involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light. 

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