Living with psoriasis can sometimes be nothing more than a slight irritation. However, a small number of people experience the condition so severely that it reduces their quality of life.
Psoriasis is a medical condition that causes patches on the skin to become flaky, red, and sometimes itchy and sore too. The condition is long-lasting, but sufferers will experience times when their symptoms are less severe, or even non-existent, and there are ways for affected people to treat the symptoms.
What Causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is caused by skin cells that reproduce at a higher rate than normal. This creates a build-up of cells and results in the affected patches of skin. It’s not fully known what causes this, but it is thought to be associated with a person’s immune system, which attacks healthy skin cells, causing more cells to be produced.
The condition has been known to occur in families, and certain genes have been linked to an increased susceptibility of psoriasis. Symptoms are often started by a trigger in a person’s life, which can include events like starting a new medication, being injured, being stressed, or having an infection. Despite it being a skin condition, it can’t be passed on to other people, and therefore isn’t contagious.
Although there is no actual cure for the condition, there is a range of psoriasis treatment options out there. The main treatment is a cream or ointment, which is used on the affected areas, and typically contains vitamin D or corticosteroids.
However, sometimes topical treatments aren’t enough, and a patient will need to undergo phototherapy, which involves putting skin under ultraviolet lights. This may also be used if the condition is quite severe. Another treatment option is injections or oral medication that can actually work from inside the body.
There are also ways in which patients can help keep their condition under control themselves, possibly alongside other psoriasis treatments. These are mainly associated with leading a healthy lifestyle. Patients should eat healthily, including things like fish, nuts, and seeds in their diet, while cutting back on red meat, sugar, alcohol, and carbohydrates. Taking supplements, such as vitamin D, fish oil, and evening primrose, may also help but further studies are required to determine how effective they are.
Stress can be a trigger of psoriasis, but stress can also be a result of having the condition too. Sufferers need to try to break the cycle – often taking up meditation or yoga can help with this. Avoiding fragranced toiletries will also help. Instead, opt for products for sensitive skin, and make sure you moisturise often. Hot water will just irritate the skin, so taking a bath in lukewarm water is advised.
Benefits of Controlling Psoriasis
Having any type of psoriasis can be stressful, but when the condition is very severe, it can totally take over a person’s life. Because of the appearance of their skin, patients suffer from low self-esteem, which can lead to depression and other mental health issues. There is also the chance that a patient could develop psoriatic arthritis, which is caused by the swelling, tenderness, and pain in the affected joints.
By keeping the condition under control, with medical treatment and the lifestyle changes mentioned above, not only will the sufferer be able to minimise the effect that psoriasis has on their life, but they will also lead a much healthier lifestyle as a result. In turn, this will help to avoid any triggers for the condition, such as stress, and prevent future flare-ups.
Psoriasis is a nasty condition to live with, and it has no cure. Still, there are ways to control it, and these will lead to a healthier and happier life for the patient, as long as they are maintained and incorporated into their everyday life.
Disclosure – this is a sponsored post.