Psoriasis is a skin disease where the cells grow abnormally quickly and build up to cause itchy, scaly red patches. These patches commonly appear on the knee, scalp, elbow, and trunk.
Psoriasis is a long-term condition that doesn’t have a cure. However, there are treatments you can access to help you manage the symptoms. When you have the disease, you will notice it goes through cycles. First, it will flare up for weeks or months then subside for a while. There are different types of the disease, including pustular, nail, guttate, and plaque psoriasis. The only way to get help is by recognizing the symptoms and going to your doctor.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs will vary from one person to another. It also depends on the type of psoriasis you have. However, these are common symptoms you need to look out for.
- Red patched inflamed skin with silver-colored scales.
- Painfully itchy dry skin that may crack or bleed
- Thickened, ridged, or pitted nails
- Stiff and swollen joints
- Scaly plaques on your scalp
The red patches will start with small dandruff-like spots and merge into each other, covering a large part of your skin. When you notice these signs, you must consult a physician to help you manage the symptoms.
What Triggers Psoriasis?
What causes this severe immune system malfunction is not apparent. However, researchers believe environmental factors and genetics play a role. The disease is not contagious, and people living with psoriasis can go for years without the symptoms until something triggers them. These are the most common triggers.
- Infections like strep throat, HIV, and skin infections can make the symptoms flare up. However, most people will experience the symptoms when they undergo a different infection.
- Heavy drinking of alcohol can also trigger psoriasis. It will worsen the symptoms or trigger them when they had not manifest for many months. In addition, combining psoriasis medication with alcohol often has harmful side effects, especially for women in childbearing years.
- Skin injury is also a trigger; severe sunburns, scrape, bug bites, and even tattoos can cause the symptoms to appear. To avoid the flare-up, you need to protect your skin.
- Cold, dry weather is also a trigger. So you should ideally try to stay somewhere with high humidity.
- Smoking makes the symptoms worse and also raises the risk of getting psoriasis if you don’t have it.
- Many health issues can be triggered by stress, so try to stay relaxed and calm as anxiety will trigger psoriasis.
- Certain medications like antimalarial drugs, high blood pressure medications, and lithium can also trigger the disease.
How Can Psoriasis Be Treated?
The psoriasis treatment used will depend on how severe your symptoms are. Corticosteroids are used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis. The medicine can be accompanied by vitamin D analogs or used separately. In addition, salicylic acid shampoos will help reduce the scaling on the scalp. There are very many medications your doctor can prescribe after examining your condition.
You can also treat psoriasis using alternative medicine. Some of the alternative therapies that reduce symptoms are dietary supplements. Vitamin D, Aloe vera, and Oregon grape are said to relieve symptoms. However, you need to consult your physician before taking supplements. Light therapy is also used to manage psoriasis by exposing the affected skin to UV rays with your doctor’s supervision. Home remedies like moisturizing, taking regular baths, applying medical cream, and eating healthy will help the situation.
Reducing stress will help to keep the symptoms away. Find stress-reducing practices like meditation and yoga to help you feel more grounded. Having psoriasis is stressful, but you need to learn how to manage it. Essential oils are known to treat stress through aromatherapy. Avoid heavy consumption of alcohol as it’s one of the primary triggers, so avoiding it will be like treatment on its own.
Coping with psoriasis can be challenging; ensure you have a solid support system and a reliable doctor. Cover up affected areas when you go to sleep or when you feel self-conscious. Get educated about the conditions as much as possible. Information will help you stay healthy and avoid triggers. Even if there is no cure, you need a doctor for psoriasis treatment.