Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder, characterised by patches of red, crusted skin.

Description

The presentation can vary quite a bit, but it’s typical for psoriasis to appear at the knees and elbows, and on the scalp and back. It seems to be hereditary. About 2% of the population has it, men and women equally. It appears before the age of 35, as a rule. It’s a long-term disease, but symptoms can come and go, repeatedly.

Treatment

Topical vitamin-D and corticosteroid creams often help. Light-therapy can also help. There are oral and injected medications for severe cases. You can ask your doctor about ‘PDE4 inhibitors’, ‘TNF-alpha inhibitors’, and ‘biologic agents’.

You can help control your symptoms a little bit too. Get some sunlight (though don’t burn). Cut down on alcohol. Stop smoking. Do what you can to lower your stress level. All these things are known to ease psoriasis symptoms. Get into the sea, too – saltwater seems to be good for psoriasis. When you get out, moisturize your skin. Keep it moisturized.

Psoriasis is famously stressful. Fortunately, there are enormous resources you can draw on for help in coping. Your doctor’s office will be able to connect you with a patient support group, for starters. These are really valuable. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Prognosis

There is no cure for psoriasis, but the disease can be managed fairly well with available treatment options as mentioned above.

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