Psoriasis

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin condition. It tends to outburst from time to time. Various creams and ointments can reduce the patches of Psoriasis. Psoriasis is unpredictable, irritating, and one of the most persistent skin conditions known to man.


  • Commonly starts between the ages of 15 and 30 years
  • About 1 in 50 people develop psoriasis at some stage

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8 Treatment(s) available

Dovonex Ointment
£22.50

  • It contains Vitamin D
  • Not recommended for children under 6
  • Very effective for psoriasis


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Dovobet Gel
£6.00

  • Used to treat scalp psoriasis
  • It contains a strong steroid
  • Not recommended for children under 18


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Dovobet Ointment
£40.00

  • Used to treat scalp psoriasis
  • It contains a strong steroid
  • Not recommended for children under 18


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Description

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that speeds up the life cycle of cells, up to 10 times quicker than usual. It causes the cells to swiftly build on the surface of the skin, which can create a scaling effect and form irritable red patches. The scales are typically a whitish-silver colour and can often become inflamed and painful; they can have the tendency to crack and bleed if they become too sore. 


The condition usually occurs in joints, such as elbows and knees. However, they can technically develop at any location on the body, including the scalp, torso, palms of the hand and soles of the feet. The symptoms which you may develop will vary depending on the exact type of psoriasis you have, which will be one of the following:


Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis is the most common type which makes up for approximately 80% of all psoriasis cases. It causes red, inflamed patches on the skin which often become covered in whitish-silver scales. It is usually found on elbows and knees. There are two types of plaque psoriasis: Scalp psoriasis, and Flexural psoriasis.


Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate Psoriasis is the most common type in children. It causes small pink spots which will typically develop on the torso, arms, or legs. Guttate psoriasis appears after a sore throat caused by a bacteria. It normally lasts a few weeks and then fade-away.


Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse Psoriasis causes areas of skin to become red, shiny, and potentially inflamed. This usually occurs under the armpits or breasts, in the groin, or in any area of the genitals which has skin folds.


Pustular Psoriasis

Pustular Psoriasis is much more common in adults. It causes white, purulent blisters and large areas of red, inflamed skin to appear. This typically develops on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet. Pustular psoriasis is a more serious form which needs immediate treatment.


Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic Psoriasis is the rarest type of this condition which often covers large areas of the body at once. Skin looks sun-burnt, and scales that develop will be known to shed in large amounts at a time.


Psoriasis is unpredictable, irritating, and one of the most persistent skin conditions known to man. It is commonly associated with other conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.


To learn more about psoriasis, see the comprehensive patient information leaflet



Causes

It is unclear as to what the exact cause of psoriasis is but scientists have a general idea and can separate the causes into two main key factors, genetics, and the immune system. Some people inherit genes that make them more susceptible to developing psoriasis in the future. If a close family member had a known history of skin conditions, this would be an instant risk factor. The overall percentage of people who have a genetic predisposition and have developed symptoms is very low, at around 2-3%.


Regarding the immune system, psoriasis is an autoimmune condition and therefore a result of the body attacking itself. It is believed that white blood cells named T cells are the root of the problem. They usually defend the body from viruses and bacteria but if you have psoriasis, the T cells begin to attack healthy skin cells by mistake. This results in the cell production process speeding up significantly and going into overdrive.


Typically, skin cells will form deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface to eventually fall off. The average life-span is around a month. When a person has psoriasis, the cells develop too quickly and then pushed to surface of the skin (as quickly as a matter of days in some cases) where they pile up. Other potential causes can include the use of certain drugs and medicines, having injured skin and being emotionally stressed.


However, in some people, certain situations may cause psoriasis. They are:


  • Stress
  • Infections
  • Certain medicines
  • Smoking
  • Trauma
  • Sunlight
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Alcohol

Types Of Treatment

There is no cure for psoriasis. Treatments aim at reducing inflammation, clearing the skin, and regulating the growth of skin cells. For this condition, we stock only topical corticosteroids, which are available in a wide range of different forms. Creams, ointments, gels, and shampoos can be applied directly to the skin. This will be especially effective for mild to moderate cases of psoriasis. If you are suffering from a much more severe case of this disease, you’ll likely have to take an oral medication or undergo light therapy alongside the topical treatment.


Corticosteroids range from weak to strong in strength, it is imperative you get the strength most suited to your condition. Lower-strength corticosteroids are better for treating more sensitive areas of the body, for short periods of time. Areas such as the face, breasts, and groin should be treated using these forms of medicines. Higher-strength corticosteroids are used to treat areas of infection which the milder treatments have been ineffective at eliminating. Some of the treatments are:


Moisturisers

These reduce the hardness and soften the skin. For mild psoriasis, a moisturiser really helps. It also reduces scaling and itching. Use it with other treatments to prevent psoriasis.


Treatments with Vitamin D

Creams which contain vitamin D are very effective to treat psoriasis. Calcipotriol, calcitriol, and tacalcitol are most commonly used. They are easy to use and less smell than coal tar or dithranol creams. Vitamin D creams are usually used along with other psoriasis treatments. However, they may cause skin irritation.


Steroids Creams

Steroids reduce inflammation. They are easy to use. However, in some cases, once you stop using steroids, the infection may come back worse. Moreover, long-term use can cause some side effects. Consult a doctor before using a steroid to treat psoriasis.


Coal Tar Preparations

Coal tar preparations have been used for a long time. However, the way they work is still unknown. They reduce inflammation and scaling. Coal tar preparations are messy to use with a foul smell. They may cause skin irritation.


Dithranol

Regular use of dithranol can reduce the symptoms. It may cause skin irritation. Apply dithranol on the plaques for about 5-60 minutes daily and then wash away. Do not use dithranol on the face.


Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is applied along with coal tar or steroid creams. It lifts the scales of psoriasis and then salicylic acid can work better on it.


Tazarotene

Tazarotene cream is prepared using Vitamin A. A common side effect of using this cream is skin irritation. Do not use this cream if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.



If you are looking for some expert help, book an ONLINE consultation with our GMC Registered Clinicians at alldayDr.com.


Patient discretion and confidentiality top the priority list at alldayDr.com!


Questions & Answers

Who gets psoriasis?

This condition can affect men, women and children alike at any point in their lives; the average age to develop it would be between 10 and 30. Approximately 3% of the UK population will have a form of psoriasis at any one time.


Is there a cure?

No, there is no definitive cure that currently exists. In recent years, there have been many great advancements towards understanding why psoriasis occurs, so any optimism placed in finding a cure may prove justified in coming years.


Will my psoriasis go away?

In some cases, the condition may clear and lay dormant for years, but for others, it is a chronic long-term condition. Most people can speak with their doctor and work out a flexible regime which will keep the disease at bay.


What’s the best environment for psoriasis?

Dry and cold weather conditions seem to make psoriasis worse in a lot of patients; vice versa, exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light can prove beneficial. Anything that brings damage to the skin, such as a scratch or a burn, can worsen the condition. Certain medications can also have the same effect.



If you are looking for some expert help, book an ONLINE consultation with our GMC Registered Clinicians at alldayDr.com.


Patient discretion and confidentiality top the priority list at alldayDr.com!


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