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FAQs On Living With Psoriasis – A Comprehensive Guide

January 25, 2023

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If you’ve ever been diagnosed with psoriasis or know someone with the condition, you know just how confusing and scary it can be. With so much conflicting information, staying informed about your health and wellness can often feel like an uphill battle.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes the body to produce new skin cells faster than usual. As a result, it may lead to raised red patches covered in silvery scales on the skin’s surface. It can appear anywhere on the body and is most commonly seen on elbows, knees, lower back, scalp, hands, and feet.

Symptoms vary from person to person; some may experience severe itching or burning, while others may have none.

Treating psoriasis is tricky since there is no single treatment and the healing process differs from person to person. However, a few treatments can help reduce inflammation and lessen flare-ups with topical creams/ointments to be applied directly to infected areas. Other treatments are oral medications, light therapy, biological drugs, and lifestyle change by avoiding triggers like stress and certain foods that can worsen symptoms.

Different treatments work for other people, so it’s crucial to find one that works best for you after consulting your doctor or dermatologist.

Living with something like a psoriatic disease can sometimes feel overwhelming, but understanding more about this condition will help you take control of your health by finding treatments that work best for you. Here are a few general FAQs on living with psoriasis to help everyone understand more about the condition and its symptoms.

FAQs on Living with Psoriasis

Large hand with red skin and rash. Psoriasis, vitiligo, dermatitis. Eczema is an inflammatory skin disease.
Fig. 1. Living with psoriasis requires a balance of medications, trigger awareness, lifestyle changes, and solid mental composure.

1. Where can you get trustworthy information on psoriasis and everything related?

Generally, information on everything is available on any search engine, and psoriasis is no exception. However, you need more than just general information about everything you need to know about your skin condition. In that case, the National Psoriasis Foundation is one trustworthy source with the tools, programs, and resources to help you better manage your health and thrive while living with psoriasis.

2. Can allergies be a cause of psoriasis?

People often mistake allergies for psoriasis and also vice versa. Although the two skin conditions involve the immune system and their symptoms resemble each other closely, their causes differ.

Scientifically, psoriasis is known to be an autoimmune disease, with genetics also playing a pivotal role in its origin. In psoriasis, the body’s immune system gets triggered mistakenly and begins multiplying cell growth. As a result, in an allergy, the body experiences a severe reaction to something it may not have had a problem with before, like pollen, certain foods, pet dander, etc.

Both skin conditions cause itchiness, flakiness, and swollen red skin that is generally discomforting. Few people suspect their allergies may cause psoriasis flare-ups in them but knowing for sure is possible only by keeping track of what triggers your allergies in the first place.

It’s best to see your dermatologist if you experience anything similar despite needing to be sure about your suffering.

3. Is it possible that psoriasis affects your mental health?

There is a sure chance of developing comorbidities if you have psoriasis. Comorbidities are related diseases psoriasis patients develop as a psychological and psychosocial effect of being affected with a chronic skin condition. People having psoriasis are at a higher risk of developing mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

4. Where does psoriasis generally affect the body?

Psoriasis types. Skin hives, derma diseases. Closeup medical vector illustration
Fig. 2. soriasis is often seen on the trunk, knees, elbows, and scalp but can occur anywhere, depending on its type.

Psoriasis can occur anywhere on your body, but the general areas that are majorly affected are the knees, elbows, scalp, and trunk. Psoriasis comes in various types, each with its symptoms and signs. For example, plaque psoriasis causes scaling on the skin as raised, dry, and itchy patches on the scalp, knees, lower back, and elbows.

Nail psoriasis affects the fingernails and toenails. Guttate psoriasis marks by scaling, drop-shaped spots on the arms, legs, or trunk. Other types occur in skin folds of the breasts, groin, buttocks, soles, palms, and even the entire body as a peeling rash.

5. Can birth control cause psoriasis?

Psoriasis is known to be affected by hormonal changes, with some people reporting worsening flare-ups, others experiencing better health, and others noting no changes. Birth control, whether oral or otherwise, all contain hormones.

However, researchers are still unclear on the effects of contraceptives on psoriasis. While one study found the intake of estrogen-rich contraceptives to be an improvement for psoriasis, another study showed that contraceptives did not have much effect on the same.

6. How severe can psoriasis get if left untreated?

As an autoimmune disorder, psoriasis is complicated since its severity varies from person to person. Moderate psoriasis can quickly develop into psoriatic arthritis, which is common in almost 40% of psoriasis patients. Other complications include related comorbidities like diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndromes, and specific cancer risks.

7. What medical treatments are available for severe psoriasis?

It's best to consult with your general physician in detail when it comes to availing of a comprehensive treatment plan
Fig. 3. IIt’s best to consult with your general physician in detail when it comes to availing of a comprehensive treatment plan.

The treatment for psoriasis aims to slow severe cell growth and remove the deformed scaling. Medications include topical ointments, creams, light therapy, injections, and oral medications. The thing to understand about treating psoriasis as a chronic disease is that it reacts differently to various medicines for every person.

Continued treatment options also depend on how well or worse psoriasis reacts to previous medical cycles. Usually, a combination of drugs and therapies works best to reduce psoriasis symptoms and clear the infected skin while ensuring few side effects.

Light therapy is a treatment option undertaken for moderate to severe psoriasis. Other options include systemic drugs or oral medications, usually alternated with less-intense treatments since the possibility of side effects getting out of hand is higher.

8. Can psoriasis cause high blood pressure?

People living with psoriasis are known to have hypertension symptoms, although the exact degree of effect that psoriasis may have on blood pressure is unknown. It has underlying infections that are the primary cause of internal health conditions that present a higher chance of heart attacks and comorbidities related to psoriasis.

Other research shows links between an increase in certain enzymes and proteins and psoriasis that indirectly raise blood pressure and, in turn, increase the chances of inflammation.

9. What self-care can psoriasis patients observe?

Self-care is just as crucial as taking the right medication to soothe your mental frustrations and fight the helplessness
Fig. 4. Self-care is just as crucial as taking the proper medication to soothe your mental frustrations and fight helplessness.

Knowing which self-care methods give you maximum relief during psoriasis activity and lengthen the remission times will help your healthcare doctor plan a well-rounded psoriasis management plan.

Taking a 10-minute lukewarm bath per day, a brief 5-minute sunbathing session per day, developing a gentle and suitable skincare routine, getting accustomed to an anti-inflammatory diet, opting for a healthy lifestyle, managing stress through meditation, limiting alcohol intake, prioritizing sleep, and getting to know your triggers and effectively avoiding them are some self-care means of maintaining overall health for psoriasis patients.

10. Can diabetes cause psoriasis?

Diabetes and psoriasis are common comorbidities that are general risk factors from underlying pathophysiology. It means conditions like insulin resistance, inflammation, epigenetic changes, genes, etc., are the common link between the two conditions that drive disease. To be clear, a few reasons that cause diabetes can cause psoriasis, and a few reasons for psoriasis may be the cause behind developing diabetes in psoriatic patients.

11. How can psoriasis patients best manage their symptoms?

Psoriasis treatment depends on its type and severity. However, there are three general categories of psoriasis treatments created.

Topical: The first line of defense and offense against mild to moderate psoriasis are topical ointments, creams, and shampoos to cleanse, soothe, and keep your skin moisturized and free from bacterial infections.

Dithranol, Coal tar, Vitamin D analog creams, Steroid creams, Emollients, and Calcineurin inhibitors are just a few topical treatment options.

Phototherapy: Getting sustained exposure to natural sunlight is beneficial to keep the symptoms of psoriasis under control, albeit with topical treatments. Selected specialist centers and hospitals administer Artificial light therapy under the care of a certified dermatologist.

With combinations of light therapy, there are Ultraviolet B phototherapy, Psoralen, and Ultraviolet A phototherapy. Side effects of these phototherapy sessions should be monitored and contained.

Systemic: These treatments are often prescribed as a last resort since the side effects of systemic drugs are potentially harmful. It’s best to discuss this with your general physician before embarking on this treatment course.

Systemic treatments can either be non-biological (tablets or capsules) or biological (injections). Drugs like Acitretin, Methotrexate, and Ciclosporin are non-biological options used as immunosuppressants and slow cell growth. Natural treatments are the last resort to be used if there is no optimal response to previous medications or you cannot use treatments due to health complications. They include Adalimumab, Ustekinumab, Etanercept, Infliximab, etc.

For psoriasis patients new to a healthy diet and who wish to seek treatment in its early stages, Medovie serves as a natural, effective, and scientifically proven product to soothe irritated and dry skin. The natural products offer lasting holistic comfort for restless skin troubles, combining advanced research and traditional Chinese medicine’s wisdom to develop a groundbreaking patented formula supporting healthy cell production.

Final Thoughts on Living with Psoriasis

Whether you have psoriasis or not, it is essential to understand the impact this condition can have on someone’s life. Asking questions and being open to listening to the answers, rather than jumping right into solutions, is often a better way to start a conversation with someone living with psoriasis.

Education, acceptance, and support are vital components of living well with this condition. In addition, psoriasis is manageable through various treatments and lifestyle adjustments – from diet and exercise changes to traditional medications and treatments.

Understanding how psoriasis affects you or your loved one and learning about available treatment options can help you decide what works best for your unique situation. Living with psoriasis is possible with proper care and support from family, friends, healthcare providers, counselors, and therapists.

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