Psoriasis is a complicated skin condition that tends to impact those suffering from it physically, emotionally and psychologically. It’s been no stranger to the likes of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Cara Delevingne.
Psoriasis is not a skin infection; it’s an auto-immune disease. A healthy immune system protects the body against invading pathogens, bacteria and viruses. In people suffering from psoriasis, their immune system starts attacking the body’s own healthy tissues. This leads to a chronic skin condition where the skin cells multiply and build up as red, itchy, hardened patches of skin with silvery scales.
There are 5 major types of psoriasis, each having distinct characteristics. People generally develop only one kind of psoriasis. The itchy legions can appear on the scalp, face, knees, elbows, abdomen, palms, soles, genitals or nails.
Psoriasis may look contagious, but it isn’t. The disease commonly develops in adulthood and it could be an inherited condition, if someone from your family already has it.
30% of people who have had psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis identified by swollen or painful joints, stiffness, pain and aches, restricted movements and nails separating from the nail bed.
Stress, weather changes, hormonal imbalances, diet, skin injuries, infections, bug bites, sun burns and certain medications can lead to a flare-up of psoriasis. These triggers are different for different people. The disease commonly crops up in cold winters or dry, heated conditions.
Psoriasis has no cure. You can only manage it by identifying your triggers and staying away from them. Prevent scratching or picking at your dry skin and moisturise regularly. Wear soft, breathable, natural clothing and don’t use harsh or skin-irritating soaps, shampoos, detergents or fabric softeners. Manage stress, eat well and limit refined and processed junk, alcohol, red meat and full fat dairy. Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D and has been known to relieve flare-ups, but at the same time make sure you avoid getting sun burnt.
Dermatologists do prescribe systemic, topical and phototherapy treatments to make living with psoriasis easier. If you’d like to consult a dermatologist or you’d like to know more about psoriasis, sign up on Skin And Hair Academy