About 5.8 to 7.5 million people are living with the skin disease psoriasis, but almost half of those with severe cases are either not receiving treatments or are receiving outdated treatments.
Why is this happening; Because psoriasis is still a widely misunderstood disease, people living with it can face prejudice and discrimination, and treatments have not been particularly effective.
“A few years ago we didn’t have that much choice. But that has changed! Treatments are now more effective, safer and easier to use than ever before!” says Dr. Steven Feldman, professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Psoriasis is an often painful chronic skin condition that causes itching, redness, inflammation, and skin blotches. The non-infectious areas are usually covered with a white accumulation of dead skin cells. Scientists aren’t sure what causes psoriasis, but they do know that it’s a genetic malfunction that triggers an inappropriate immune response that leads to the rapid production of new skin cells.
There are five types of psoriasis: plaque psoriasis (the most common form), guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic psoriasis. Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body and up to 30% of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, a painful condition that causes the joints to become inflamed and stiff.
“Psoriasis is largely a hereditary disease, but several genes and possibly some environmental factors are involved in its development,” says Dr. Feldman. The most common causes of its development are stress, skin trauma such as sunburn and trauma, and certain medications, including antimalarials. In the case of guttate psoriasis in particular, an infection can also be the cause.
Because psoriasis manifests itself on the skin, it can have significant psychological effects. Some people with mild cases may be able to successfully mask the area where psoriasis has broken out so that it is not visible to other people. However, those with severe psoriasis are exposed to the reactions of others, who are often unfamiliar and may seem harsh. This is also the hardest part for those living with psoriasis.
It is important for people with psoriasis to find the support and treatment they need to best manage their problem and live comfortably, both physically and emotionally.
In the following psoriasis guide, you’ll learn how to get the right diagnosis so you can get the best care possible, but also learn about new and highly effective treatments so you can live a healthier, happier life.
The best products to minimize psoriasis
Healthy skin and hair care can improve your psoriasis routine, but it won’t cure it. You don’t have to give up certain ingredients, but you should minimize the use of highly drying ingredients on the skin. After cleansing, your goal should be to keep your skin hydrated to reduce redness and allow healing. On the scalp, special shampoos can help eliminate damage. Here is a “tip” to find the right products.
soaps and detergents
Avoid harsh soaps like deodorant soaps and scrubbing as these can be very irritating. Many people with psoriasis prefer mild cleansers or cream soaps. Cream soaps have a calming effect, the best solution is a bubble bath.
Doctors recommend patients with psoriasis to keep their skin well hydrated to avoid dryness, which makes the problem worse. The best way to moisturize is with ointments, creams, and lotions. The problem for psoriasis sufferers is that ointments can be very moisturizing, but at the same time they are also very greasy. In addition, many people do not want to walk around with a heavy product during the day. Lotions dry much better and are more comfortable, but don’t moisturize as much as ointments. The compromise many patients choose is to use a lighter lotion during the day and apply an ointment at night.
Many patients with psoriasis have lesions on the scalp. Tar shampoos slow skin cell proliferation and reduce inflammation. Unfortunately, those with a high tar content (5% or more) can smell and stain the hair. Look for shampoos with less tar content. They clearly have a much better smell and don’t stain. Leave the shampoo on your head for 5 to 10 minutes.
You can also try salicylic acid shampoos and skin care products, as well as zinc shampoos. If none of the above remedies work, your doctor may prescribe something stronger.
Conditioners can mask the smell of tar shampoo and restore moisture. An oily conditioner can help more and take better care of the scalp.
Although UV rays can be therapeutic, care must be taken not to burn the skin. Staying in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes is ideal. That’s enough time to enjoy the beneficial effects of the sun without burning yourself. Even a slight sunburn can trigger a flare-up of psoriasis. In addition, the use of sunscreen is essential. Most psoriasis sufferers should regularly use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, or opt for a hypoallergenic one for particularly sensitive skin. Many sunscreens also have a moisturizing effect.