Psoriasis is a common, chronic, skin condition that impacts tens of millions of people worldwide. Whether you or a loved one suffers from the common skin disorder, knowledge and education are the keys to living a healthy, unaffected life.
Psoriasis affects the life cycle of skin cells, causing cells to build up rapidly on the skin’s surface, to form thick, silvery scales and itchy, red patches. It’s not contagious — but it can be uncomfortable and distressing for those who suffer from it. August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, and we’re taking it upon ourselves to raise recognition about it and how to manage it. Although the exact cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors with an emphasis on the immune system.
The symptoms of psoriasis vary per individual from mild to severe. However, for many, common symptoms include red patches, dry and cracked skin that may bleed or shed, itching and burning sensations, soreness, and sometimes, swollen and stiff joints. While we may not know the exact cause, it’s important for those with psoriasis to pay attention to their individual triggers which can worsen psoriasis flare-ups. Common triggers include stress, infections, injuries, certain medications, smoking, and alcohol.
The skin condition is not life-threatening, but it can have significant psychological effects, including feelings of self-consciousness, embarrassment, and anxiety. For this reason, it’s important to treat psoriasis and focus on lifestyle management to ensure a happy, fulfilled life. Luckily, there are several proven treatments to help keep psoriasis at bay and address individual flare-ups. Like with any medical, skin condition, working with a skilled dermatologist you trust is critical, since it’s not a one-size-fits-all disorder.
Here are the top five ways to treat psoriasis:
- Topical treatment applied directly to the skin can be used for mild to moderate psoriasis. Some topical treatments like anti-inflammatory creams or ointments, help reduce redness and itching. Others like retinoids help decrease inflammation and skin cell growth.
- Oral or injectable medications work well for severe psoriasis, as they directly affect the immune system.
- Phototherapy is another option and involves exposing the skin to UV light — it can help slow down the rapid growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation and is great for moderate to mild cases of psoriasis.
- Combination Therapies work well for those looking to make a quick and noticeable impact. Using topical treatments alongside phototherapy or oral medications is a smart way to combat stubborn flare-ups.
- Lastly, an effective treatment is a great foundation through lifestyle management. Lifestyle changes can complement medical therapies and help manage psoriasis. This means maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress, avoiding triggers, and consistently practicing a skincare routine that works for your body.
Psoriasis isn’t fun, but it’s also not the end. Don’t suffer in silence, or let a stigma stop you from finding the happiness you deserve. Give us a call at (727) 545-3376 or request your consultation online today and see how we can help you or a loved one thrive.