- Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition causing red patches with silvery scales and is most common on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back.
- Risk factors for psoriasis include family history, smoking/alcohol consumption, stress/infection, and age/environmental exposure.
- Treatment options include red light treatment, topical creams, oral medications, and phototherapy.
- It is important to manage stress and practice self-care such as taking warm showers, moisturizing regularly, and avoiding harsh soaps to control symptoms and promote healing.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are treatments available that can help to control the symptoms. Here’s a comprehensive look at psoriasis, including what it is, what causes it, and what treatments are available.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that results in the overproduction of skin cells. The most common symptom of psoriasis is patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. These patches can appear anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. Psoriasis can also cause nail changes, such as pitting or loosening of the nails. In severe cases, psoriasis can also lead to joint pain.
Anyone can develop psoriasis, but certain factors may increase the risk. Here are some of those risks:
The most common risk factor for psoriasis is having a family history of the disease. If an individual has a parent or sibling with psoriasis, they are at higher risk for developing the condition themselves. However, it should be noted that having a family member with psoriasis does not guarantee that you will develop it as well; many people with a family history of psoriasis never experience any symptoms themselves.
Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
Studies have found that smoking and alcohol consumption can increase your chances of developing psoriasis or worsen existing symptoms. Smoking increases inflammation in the body and can trigger flare-ups in those who already have psoriasis. At the same time, alcohol consumption can worsen existing symptoms by causing dehydration and disrupting sleep cycles.
Stress and Infection
Stress and infection also increase your risk of developing psoriasis or exacerbating existing symptoms. This is because stress triggers an immune response in your body which can lead to flare-ups. In contrast, infections such as strep throat or HIV can trigger psoriatic arthritis—a joint condition related to but distinct from psoriasis—in some individuals.
Age & Environment
Age is also believed to be one of the main risk factors for developing psoriasis, as most individuals will first experience symptoms between ages 15 and 35. In addition, external environmental factors such as smoke exposure or extreme weather conditions like extreme temperatures or humidity levels may also put an individual at greater risk for developing this condition. Therefore, taking precautions such as avoiding smoking and protecting your skin from extreme weather conditions can help reduce your chances of experiencing a psoriasis flare-up due to environmental triggers.
Managing and Dealing With Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic condition, and taking steps to manage the symptoms is essential. Here are some tips for managing psoriasis:
Treatments for Psoriasis
There are several treatments available for psoriasis. However, the most effective is red light treatment. This treatment utilizes ultraviolet light to target and slow the overproduction of skin cells. Other treatments include topical creams, oral medications, and phototherapy (exposure to UVB light). Your doctor can help you decide which treatment is best for your symptoms.
Stress can have a significant impact on psoriasis flare-ups. To help manage stress levels associated with this condition, it’s vital to ensure you get enough sleep each night, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, practice mindfulness activities such as yoga or meditation and talk with friends/family about how you’re feeling so they can offer support and understanding when needed.
Additionally, if your stress levels are still high despite these tips, then seeking professional counseling could be beneficial to identify what other underlying factors may be contributing to your stress levels and provide you with additional coping skills moving forward.
Self Care Practices
Taking care of yourself physically and mentally is essential when dealing with psoriasis. This includes taking warm showers instead of hot ones, which can dry out your skin further; moisturizing regularly; wearing loose clothing made from natural materials like cotton; avoiding harsh soaps; protecting your skin from UV rays; and not scratching or picking at the affected area as this can cause further irritation and infection.
By following these self-care practices, you can keep your symptoms under control while promoting healing within your body overall.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can be difficult to manage, but with the right treatments and self-care practices, it is possible to control symptoms and live a healthy life. Talk to your doctor about treatments and managing psoriasis to regain control of your health.
People living with psoriasis can lead happy and fulfilling lives with proper care.