Psoriasis

Psoriasis Awareness Month — Drought

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, so we have decided to go back-to-basics for all things psoriasis.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition, which is characterised by redness, dry skin and silvery scales. The condition causes skin cells up to 10 times the normal rate. Although psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body, the most common places are the elbows, back, knees and scalp.

Types of Psoriasis

  • Plaque Psoriasis – Plaque psoriasis is the most common type, affecting around 85% of sufferers. Plaque psoriasis usually appears as silvery scales. These are often itchy and/or sore. Plaque psoriasis is also known as psoriasis vulgaris.

  • Guttate Psoriasis – Guttate psoriasis usually looks like very small (under 1 cm) drop-shaped sores. Guttate psoriasis often lasts just a few weeks, before healing, or, unfortunately, developing in to plaque psoriasis. This skin condition typically develops after a throat infection. It is more common in teenagers and children.

  • Inverse Psoriasis – Also known as flexural psoriasis, inverse psoriasis occurs where there are folds of skin. This usually results in red patches around the armpit, breast and buttock areas.

How is Psoriasis Treated?

Treatments vary depending on the type of psoriasis you have, and it’s severity. If you believe you have psoriasis, this is something that a medical professional should diagnose.

Treatment options for psoriasis are as follows:

  • Topical Treatments- This is usually the first treatment option most sufferers try. For more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe topical treatments containing steroids. You can read about my personal experience with steroids here- Confession Time… I Still Use Steroids.

  • Phototherapy- This involves ultraviolet light, and usually takes place in a medical setting. For me, this is too much of a time-consuming approach to be viable.

  • Systematic Medications-These are pretty much the last resort, prescribed to more heavily affected sufferers who haven’t had results with other methods. As psoriasis is an auto-immune condition, these drugs work by reducing the body’s immune response. I have tried this approach before, but for me, the risks of reducing your immunity are too high. These can either be administered orally or injected.

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