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10 Common Concerns about Psoriasis…

How do I know that I am suffering from Psoriasis?

Do you suffer from dryness of the skin with cracks, flaking, red rash, irritation and itching anywhere on the body since a long time? Are the moisturizers not helping to stop the cracks or flaking of the skin? Then you are probably suffering from psoriasis. Consult your doctor and they can help you confirm the diagnosis.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin condition where the immune system is disturbed which causes the skin cells to multiply 10 times faster than normal skin. Normal skin cycle is of 28days. Every 28days are skin is replaced with a new skin but in a person suffering from Psoriasis the skin is produced rapidly every 3-4days which causes flaking of the skin. Psoriasis most often occurs on the elbows, knees, scalp, face, palms, soles, trunk, chest, abdomen and genital areas.

Does Psoriasis spread through contact or touch with a person suffering from Psoriasis?

No. Psoriasis is not a contagious disease. It does not spread through contact or touch with a person suffering from Psoriasis.

What factors trigger the onset of Psoriasis?

Researchers are still investigating how and why psoriasis develops. Some say it is likely that our immune system and hereditary play an important role in its development. This causes the skin cells to multiply faster and new skin cells to form within days rather than weeks.

The exact cause of Psoriasis is unknown but the following factors could aggravate the condition:

  • Psoriasis could be aggravated in cold dry weather.
  • Infections such as strep-throat could cause scalp psoriasis to aggravate.
  • Injuries to the skin caused by scratching the skin can trigger Psoriasis.
  • Use of conventional medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or drugs related to anxiety disorders and anti-hypertensive for a long time could aggravate Psoriasis.
  • Stress, depression, anxiety can aggravate Psoriasis.

How many types of Psoriasis exist?

There are 5 major types of Psoriasis:

  • Plaque Psoriasis is broad, raised area on the skin.
  • Guttate Psoriasis: spotted as if by drops.
  • Pustular Psoriasis: small, elevated, circumscribed lesions.
  • Inverse Psoriasis: psoriasis in armpits and groins.
  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis: Recurring reddish, psoriatic patches covered with silvery scales.

How long does it take for Psoriasis to cure?

There is no specific time period for Psoriasis to get better. The scaly problem can affect people of all ages and both sexes. On an average Psoriasis takes about 3 months to start showing some treatment results. It also depends on severity of condition. In cases of erythrodermic psoriasis there could be requirement of hospitalization. If the patient has any other associated complaints like hypertension, diabetes and thyroid then psoriasis could take longer to show results as these associated complaints should be under control to show progress of treatment. Stress should be well managed to get a faster result.

 Are stress and psoriasis related?

There are many studies that have linked stress to psoriasis. Stress can cause flare ups and could worsen psoriasis. Stress can cause psoriasis and Psoriasis can cause stress. Many people get caught in this vicious cycle. Keeping track of your mood, your stress level and symptoms on daily basis, over several months, could be of great help. Add exercise to your routines as it helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels immensely. Set aside some time for yourself and do some gardening or listen to some music as it works as a de-stressing therapy. If still you cannot deal with the stress seek help of a professional therapist.

Can psoriasis affect the joints?

Yes, psoriasis does affect the joints. The condition is known as psoriatic arthritis or PsA. Psoriatic arthritis is chronic in nature. It typically occurs in people with skin psoriasis and can occur in people with no skin psoriasis too. Psoriatic arthritis typically affects the distal joints of the fingers and toes, lower extremities and can also affect the back and sacro-iliac joints of the pelvis. In some people, psoriatic arthritis is mild with just occasional flare ups and in some it is continuous and can cause damage to the joints if it is not treated. Early diagnosis is important to avoid damage to the joints. For most people, appropriate treatments will relieve pain, protect the joints and maintain mobility. Physical activity helps maintain joint movements.

What is the efficacy of Homoeopathy in treating Psoriasis?

Conventional modes of treatment are based on immunosuppressant. They may clear the skin in a few days to few weeks but it would recur as soon as the effect of the medicine wears off. Homoeopathy helps to stimulate body’s natural healing capacity and restores the deviated immunity back to normalcy. Artificial ultra-violet lights therapies are known to cause burns but homoeopathy has no such side-effects as the medicines are oral medicines. Homoeopathy is non-addictive and can also eliminate the need to consume conventional medicines. Crude medicines contain high amounts of lead, arsenic and mercury which are known to damage the vital organs. Homoeopathic medicines are made from natural substances in potentised form and treat psoriasis gently without damaging the vital organs. Homoeopathy helps to deal with ‘Stress’ more effectively and helps to control the intensity of complaints during seasonal variations. If homoeopathy is considered as a treatment option in the early stages of the disease, then the overall control of the disease in future is much better.

 What are the dos and don’ts to prevent triggering of psoriasis?

To prevent the triggering of psoriasis a good self care regime goes hand in hand with its treatment.

  • Keep your skin moist. Use a natural moisturizer which heals and soothes the skin. This should be an important part of one’s self care for psoriasis. Dry skin makes psoriasis itchiness worse than it needs to be.
  • Never scrub you’re your skin when you bathe. Friction is a triggering factor for psoriasis. A new patch can appear when psoriasis is in its active phase. So never use a luffa or scrubber when you bathe. Use soaps made from glycerin or cream based soaps which keep the skin moist after you bathe.
  • The ultra-violet light in sunlight is a proven treatment for psoriasis, but sunburns can make psoriasis worse. Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 to prevent sunburn damage.
  • Quit smoking. People who smoke more than a packet per day were twice likely to have severe psoriasis. The negative effect of smoking is believed to be stronger in women with psoriasis than in men.
  • Drink moderately or not at all. Psoriasis is more common in people who drink excess alcohol.
  • Consider diet change. Many people with psoriasis have claimed improvement after cutting down on foods such as sugar, refined flour, gluten and caffeine. Consume flaxseeds as they help to reduce the flaking and dryness of the skin. Obesity is known to trigger psoriasis, so weight management is important to prevent psoriasis. Red meat is a big no as it could make the flaking and psoriatic arthritis worse.
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