What Do You Know About Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a unique condition that impacts an estimated 7.5 million people in the U.S. This condition effects far more than just the skin, it is an autoimmune disorder that is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, worsening of arteries, depression and arthritis.
Unfortunately, psoriasis is often misunderstood due to its appearance. Many mistake the inflamed, red raised patches to be a contagious skin condition, when in fact it is not contagious. While the cause of psoriasis is still largely a mystery, many believe that it is a hereditary condition that can be induced by triggers.
While there are multiple forms and severities of psoriasis, these are some of the common forms and symptoms:
Discoid psoriasis (also called plaque psoriasis). This type of psoriasis is the most common. Symptoms may include patches of red, raised skin on the trunk, arms, legs, knees, elbows, genitals, and scalp. Nails may also thicken, become pitted, and separate from the nail beds.
Guttate psoriasis. This type of psoriasis affects mostly children. Symptoms may include many small patches of red, raised skin. A sore throat usually precedes the onset of this type of psoriasis.
Pustular psoriasis. Symptoms may include small pustules (pus-containing blisters) all over the body or just on the palms, soles, and other small areas.
These symptoms of psoriasis may look like other skin conditions; always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Now for the good news…there are multiple options when it comes to treating psoriasis. Your physician will likely come up with a customized treatment plan just for you. Keep in mind that the success of the treatment plan often depends on you following the treatment plan and staying patient.
In addition to your custom treatment plan, you can also incorporate lifestyle changes and self-care techniques that will help ease the stress of psoriasis. While some things, like a change in diet, may not be medically be proven, they improve overall health and can only help a condition like psoriasis.
- After you bathe, apply lotion right away, while your skin is damp. Dry skin can make symptoms worse.
- Manage your stress, and use relaxation techniques.
- Expose your psoriatic skin to sunlight for 5 minutes a day, except if you feel that sun exposure makes your psoriasis worse. Use sunscreen on the normal, unaffected skin, but avoid sunburns.
- Avoid abrasive cleansers, harsh detergents and household chemicals.
- Eat a healthful diet full of fresh produce, lean protein and avoid high fat foods with high amounts of cholesterol and sodium.
Now that you know more about psoriasis, keep these helpful tips in mind for yourself and/or for others. Psoriasis is a very complex condition that can be hard to cope with, so stay empowered by utilizing the information and treatment options your physician recommends. At Gwinnett Medical Center, our specialists will provide compassionate care to ensure that all of your needs from diagnostics to treatment are met.