Are you affected by Psoriasis? Around 2% of people in the UK are affected by Psoriasis. It can start at any age, but most often develops in adults under 35 years old for both men and women equally.
It is a chronic skin condition which often causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body. Most people are only affected with small patches and some are affected on their feet, which is called pustular psoriasis feet. It is advised to keep your feet clean and fresh. Wear light and comfortable footwear when managing psoriasis on your feet.
This skin condition can affect the person in many ways in their life, like their self-esteem. So it is very important that you are looking after yourself as it will have a significant impact on quality of life. I used to work with a surgeon who suffered from psoriasis who would often sit alone by himself scratching while others sat a mile away from him. Psoriasis is not contagious but due to the lack of information, many people will run a mile from you. If you have any concern on your physical or mental well-being, speak to your GP or healthcare team.
Normal skin cells are made and replaced every three to four weeks. However, with psoriasis this process only lasts about three to seven days which results in the build-up of skin cells that creates the patches associated with psoriasis. It is thought to be a problem with the autoimmune where healthy cells are attacked but the process is not fully understood. What we know is that dermal changes due to psoriasis are characterised by an increase in vascularisation and the infiltration of T-cells, neutrophils, macrophages, and mast cells. The keratinocytes undergo hyperproliferation, and this causes premature and incomplete keratinisation. At the same time, levels of cytokines, and other inflammatory mediators in the skin, are not regulated.
Psoriasis can be genetically determined by multi-factorial inheritance, but it can also be triggered by bacterial infections (due to the secretion of bacterial toxins), inflammatory insults, psychological stress, the use of certain drugs, certain diseases, alcohol consumption and over-exposure to the sun. It is always best to identify the source of the outbreak in order to treat it fast. Or you could download the free psoriasis treating tracking app via App Store or Google Play to track your symptoms and chat to others for help.
At the moment, there is no cure for psoriasis, but a range of treatments can improve symptoms and the appearance of skin patches. The first treatment used will be a topical treatment via prescriptions from your GP or healthcare team. Regularly applying the creams and ointments to the skin would help to ease the symptoms. There are many brands in the market and it is always worth trying different types if that particular brand of cream or ointment doesn’t work for you. If the first treatment doesn’t work for you, your doctor might suggest phototherapy or medicines for severe cases. Whether you are young or old, if you are living with psoriasis, do seek help!
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