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What is Psoriasis?

mild psoriasis

What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes flaky, red, crusty patches of skin covered in what look like silver scales. Around 2% of the world’s population are thought to suffer from the condition and although there is no cure there are psoriasis treatments that are said to help those suffering. Psoriasis can affect different parts of the body with anything from the scalp to the nails to the whole body being affected.

The severity of the condition varies on an individual basis and the symptoms can vary from month to month.

What Causes Psoriasis?
No-one exactly knows what causes psoriasis but it is thought that the immune system plays a part as this is what helps prevent disease and fight infection. What is known however is that genetics does play a large part with one in three people suffering from the condition having a close relative that also suffers. How genetics is linked to the psoriasis causes is still unclear and no link has yet been found, especially since carrying a psoriasis gene does not necessarily mean that you will suffer from the condition.

Doctors also believe that there are a few triggers that can cause psoriasis to develop. The condition usually makes its first appearance during the age of 11 and 45 and things that are thought to trigger it include stress, smoking, alcohol, an injury to the skin such as a cut or sunburn, a throat infection and immune disorders such as HIV.

Psoriasis Treatments
Most people suffering from psoriasis can receive treatment from their GP however people suffering from the more severe symptoms may be referred to a dermatologist for further treatment. The treatment for psoriasis that is given will depend on the severity of the condition. Psoriasis treatment options include:

  • Creams and ointments
  • Phototherapy
  • Injected and oral medications

Sometimes more than one psoriasis treatment may be given at once, and your doctor or dermatologist will see you on a regular basis to see if any changes need to be made.

Is Psoriasis Contagious?
Psoriasis is a non-contagious disease and cannot be caught or passed on to any other person. People suffering from the condition will need to work their treatment into their daily life. They will need to maintain a good diet and exercise regime and do their best to minimalize the chances of cuts or bruises occurring. Psoriasis is a controllable condition and although not curable, it can be managed.

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