Everything You Need to Know About Psoriasis

Everything You Need to Know About Psoriasis

If you have ever had an itchy, scaly rash, you may be familiar with the discomfort of psoriasis. This chronic skin condition affects millions of people worldwide, and for many, psoriasis is more than just a cosmetic issue. The itching and inflammation can cause discomfort, and the condition can lead to feelings of isolation and low self-esteem. If you are struggling with psoriasis, it’s good to know that you are not alone. Millions of others understand what you are going through, and there are many resources available to help you manage your symptoms and live a full life. So, let’s explore psoriasis and what you can do to find relief from this skin condition.

What is psoriasis, and what causes it?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes the formation of red patches covered with a silvery-white scale. Experts don’t know the exact cause of psoriasis, but it is thought to be related to an overactive immune system. In people with psoriasis, the immune system signals the body to accelerate new skin cell production. This rapid turnover of skin cells leads to the buildup of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface, resulting in the characteristic scaly patches.

How many people are affected by psoriasis?

Psoriasis affects between 2-3 percent of the world’s population, or an estimated 125 million people. In the United States alone, more than 7 million people have psoriasis. The skin condition is most common in those between 45 and 64, but it can affect all ages.

What are triggers for Psoriasis?

Understanding what triggers psoriasis flare ups can help you better control your symptoms. One of the most common triggers is stress. Stressful life events can cause new psoriasis lesions to form and existing lesions to become inflamed. Other common triggers include:

  • Injury to the skin from a scrape, cut, bug bite, or even a sunburn.
  • Drinking too much alcohol or smoking
  • Illnesses can trigger psoriasis, especially strep throat, a respiratory infection, ear infection, bronchitis, and tonsillitis.

The weather can affect psoriasis.

In some cases, weather can also play a role in flare-ups. Cold, dry weather can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms, while warm, humid weather can improve outbreaks. By understanding their triggers, people with psoriasis can take steps to reduce their risk of flares and better manage their condition.

Is there a cure for psoriasis?

There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are treatments that can help to control the symptoms. Common treatments include topical creams and ointments, light therapy, oral medications, and shots. In some cases, psoriasis may go into remission, but it is often a lifelong condition. While there is no cure, most people with psoriasis can manage their symptoms and enjoy a good quality of life with proper treatment.

What treatments are available for psoriasis?

Psoriasis can be challenging to treat and can cause significant discomfort. However, there are a variety of treatments available that can help to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.

Topical creams and ointments for psoriasis

Creams and ointments can help soothe the itchiness and irritation associated with psoriasis, and they can also help reduce redness and inflammation. There are many topical creams and ointments on the market, so talking to your dermatologist about which one may be right for you is essential. Examples include steroid cream, salicylic acid, calcipotriol, prescription retinoid, coal tar ointment, and immunosuppressants.

Treating psoriasis with light therapy

When cells grow too fast with psoriasis, light therapy can help slow them down. Also known as phototherapy, light therapy involves exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. This can be done either with natural sunlight or with artificial light sources like lasers or lamps. Studies have shown that light therapy can help to reduce the inflammation and scaling associated with psoriasis. It can also help to improve the overall appearance of the skin.

Psoriasis can respond to shots or oral medications.

Oral medications and shots work by suppressing the immune system, which is overactive in people with psoriasis. By doing so, they can help to reduce inflammation and the formation of new skin cells. There are a number of different systemic treatments available, so it’s essential to work with your dermatologist to find the one that’s right for you. In some cases, these drugs can have serious side effects, so it’s important for a dermatologist to monitor you while taking them. But for many people, they can be an effective treatment for psoriasis.

Conclusion

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can be difficult to treat. However, there are a variety of treatments available that can help to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. These include topical creams and ointments, light therapy, oral medications, and shots. In some cases, psoriasis may go into remission for some time, but it is often a lifelong condition. While there is no cure, most people with psoriasis can manage their symptoms and enjoy a good quality of life with proper treatment. If you’re suffering from psoriasis, the dermatologists at the Skin and Cancer Institute can help you manage your symptoms and find relief. Contact us today for a consultation!