Although psoriasis is a common disease that can be painful and unpleasant to live with, it is not necessarily a life sentence. With the right management and care, it can be kept in check. In this blog, we look at how serious psoriasis is.
With over 100 million people affected worldwide, psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect men and women of all ages, regardless of ethnicity.
Whilst there is no known singular cause, research suggests that some psoriasis sufferers can be genetically predisposed to it. Psoriasis flares up when a person’s immune system fights against their own body, leading to an overproduction of skin cells. The resulting build up of excess skin causes raised, inflamed and heated patches, often overlaid with scales. External factors can also play a role in the onset of psoriasis with infections, damage to the skin, smoking, medications, stress and seasonality all being potential triggers. Psoriasis is not contagious.
Most cases of psoriasis are mild, with evidence suggesting that 75% of skin involvement can be improved with creams alone. In more rare cases, psoriasis can be severe, affecting more than 10% of a person’s skin.
It is important to acknowledge that psoriasis can have an impact on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing, with depression being a common response. Social stigma and exclusion can also have a devastating effect on sufferers.
Psoriasis manifests itself visibly on the skin, but it is more than skin deep, affecting the body in different ways. Psoriasis sufferers are more likely to develop comorbidities, or other health conditions; ranging from psoriatic arthritis, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, certain cancers, liver and kidney diseases; to metabolic and cardiovascular conditions. It’s important to identify and manage these comorbidities, alongside managing psoriasis, to make sure that it doesn’t get any worse.
Despite research being underway, there is currently no known cure for psoriasis. However, the good news is that there are lots of treatments available to help alleviate the symptoms.
Management varies from person to person and each plan will be bespoke to the individual and their needs. However, a good all-round psoriasis treatment plan should include the following:
Identify your triggers and avoid them - read this blog for top tips
- Maintain a healthy diet: adopt a nourishing diet, rich in leafy greens, berries, healthy fats and antioxidants.
- Avoid processed foods, refined sugars and dairy.
- Give up smoking and avoid alcohol
- Look after your skin: take daily baths, moisturise regularly and apply ointment-based moisturiser to the affected skin and cover overnight. When you wake up, remove the cover and wash away scales.
You should always consult your doctor when setting out on a psoriasis management plan. The Psoriasis Association also offers useful resources to sufferers and their families.
Recommended products for skin prone to psoriasis:
Balmonds Skin Salvation
our award winning emollient for highly sensitive skin is oil based and locks in the moisture that dry skin desperately needs
Balmonds Scalp Oil
keeps sensitive scalps hydrated
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.