What Happens If My Gp Cannot Help
If you are referred for further treatment or advice it is likely to be to outpatients at your local hospital where a consultant dermatologist or a specialist dermatology nurse will assess you or it may be to another General Practitioner with enhanced role often referred to as GP with special interest .
It is likely that you may be offered the same treatment that your GP has already given you or other treatments that your GP is unable to prescribe.
Are There Any Other Alternative Approaches
There are a variety of alternative approaches that can be undertaken alone or in combination with conventional therapies. It is essential if you are considering any alternative approaches to please discuss this with your doctor or healthcare professional as they may be detrimental to your health.
Such alternative approaches could entail Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Magnatherapy, Ayurvedic Medicine, Aromatherapy, Homeopathic Medicine, Yoga, Spa Treatments, Shiatsu, and Naturopathy. It is always advisable to fully research and find a reputable qualified practitioner who follows correct protocols for their clients. There are organisations that may be useful to contact for further details and advice. With this information you and your doctor or healthcare professional will be better placed to discuss what is best for you.
Is It Scalp Psoriasis Or Dandruff
More than half of all psoriasis patients have scalp psoriasis, according to the NPF. Itchy plaques can extend beyond the hairline onto the forehead, neck, and around the ears.
“Most people with scalp psoriasis have it on other parts of their body as well,” says Dina D. Strachan, MD, a dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
Scalp psoriasis is sometimes confused with seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff. According to Dr. Strachan, dandruff which causes a flaky, itchy scalp without signs of inflammation tends to itch more than scalp psoriasis. It has a greasy-appearing yellow scale, Strachan says. In contrast, psoriasis whether it’s on your scalp or any other body part tends to have a thick, silvery scale.”
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What Are The Trigger Factors
Although the underlying cause of psoriasis stems from your body’s immune system, the trigger factors that can make it worse or cause flare-ups include:
- Weather: Cold and dry weather can dry out your skin, which makes the chances of having a flare-up worse. In contrast, hot, sunny weather appears to help control the symptoms of psoriasis in most people
- Stress: Having psoriasis can cause stress itself and patients often report that outbreaks of symptoms come during particularly stressful times
- Some medications: Certain drugs, such as lithium , drugs for malaria, and some beta-blockers , can cause flare-ups of psoriasis. Some common painkillers — called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs — may also aggravate psoriasis, although they are still used in some people with psoriatic arthritis
- Infections or disease: Certain infections, such as strep throat or tonsillitis, can result in guttate or other types of psoriasis. Psoriasis may worsen in people who have HIV
- Trauma to the skin: In some people with psoriasis, trauma to the skin — including cuts, bruises, burns, bumps, vaccinations, tattoos and other skin conditions — can cause a flare-up of psoriasis symptoms either at the site of the injury or elsewhere. This condition is called Koebner’s phenomenon
- Smoking: Some experts think that smoking can worsen psoriasis.
How Knowledge Of Genes Can Help
Researchers have so far determined the following points:
- Genetic factors increase a persons susceptibility to psoriasis.
- Some specific genes may play a role in psoriatic changes.
If scientists can find out exactly which genes cause a condition and how to change them, they may be able to develop novel treatments and even a cure.
Biologic therapy is now a common treatment option for certain types of psoriasis. These drugs target specific components of the immune system. They are effective at reducing the number of flares and the severity of symptoms.
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Does Chance Play A Role
Researchers tend to agree that the most likely cause of psoriasis is that changes in specific immune-related genes combine with environmental triggers at a certain point in time.
Chance may play a minor role, since a person probably needs a very specific combination of genetic changes for psoriasis to develop. Even then, psoriasis may not occur without a trigger, such as an infection.
Some triggers are avoidable, but others are not. For example, people have vaccinations and practice good hygiene to reduce the risk of infection, but it is not possible to prevent all illnesses.
However, there is a higher incidence of smoking among people with psoriasis, which suggests that smoking may be a trigger for the condition. Smoking is one factor that people can choose to avoid.
If these factors are not in place, scientists believe that a person may not develop psoriasis in their lifetime.
How Does Psoriasis Occur
Psoriasis is a systemic condition that affects various body systems and involves a malfunction in the immune system.
The immune system exists to resolve problems that arise when harmful substances, such as infections or a virus, invade the body. Inflammation plays a role in this reaction. Sometimes, however, the immune system malfunctions and reacts to a threat that does not exist.
This reaction and the resulting inflammation can lead to damage in various parts of the body. In the case of psoriasis, it triggers an overgrowth of skin cells and other symptoms.
Skin changes are the hallmark sign of psoriasis, but inflammation can occur elsewhere in the body. If it happens in the joints, it can lead to psoriatic arthritis.
In most cases, genetic changes are not enough to activate psoriasis. An environmental factor will also need to be present to trigger the condition.
Excess alcohol consumption may also play a role in the development of psoriasis.
Conditions such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease are more likely to occur in people with psoriasis than those without it.
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How Does Psoriasis Affect The Lower Back
The torso is another area where plaques can often occur, particularly around the lower back. Sometimes plaques on the lower back may spread downward into the buttock area. Psoriasis symptoms in this area can be treated effectively in many people2.
Read more information on symptoms and treatments for psoriasis on the lower back.
Psoriasis Causes Symptoms Treatment
Psoriasis is a common inflammatory disease of the skin which affects 2-3% of New Zealanders.
Characteristic symptoms are thick, red skin, with flaky, silver-white patches. These patches can be small and may or may not be itchy and sore. More severe cases can cover large areas of the body and have a major impact on quality of life. The aim of treatment is to minimise symptoms and prevent infection of the skin.
Psoriasis is often a life-long condition. Anyone can get psoriasis, but it is more likely to occur in people aged between 15 and 35 years and those aged between 50 and 60 years. It is not contagious, i.e. it cannot be caught from or spread to another person.
There are several different types of psoriasis, each with its own distinctive appearance. Some people will develop stiff swollen joints in combination with their psoriasis a condition known as psoriatic arthritis. The persistent visual, and sometimes disabling, nature of psoriasis can result in social, psychological, and economic consequences for people with the condition. Hence, it is important to seek effective treatment and support.
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What Is Cdc Doing About Psoriasis
In 2010, CDC worked with experts in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and public health to develop a public health perspective that considers how these conditions affect the entire population. The resulting report is Developing and Addressing the Public Health Agenda for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis pdf icon. You can read a short article about the agendaexternal icon in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
CDCs National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , an intermittent source of national psoriasis data, has included questions about psoriasis as late as the 2013-2014 cycle. A recent analysis of NHANES data estimates that 7.4 million adults had psoriasis in 2013external icon.
- Psoriasis causes patches of thick red skin and silvery scales. Patches are typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of feet, but can affect other places . The most common type of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis.
- Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that eventually occurs in 10% to 20% of people with psoriasis. It is different from more common types of arthritis and is thought to be related to the underlying problem of psoriasis.
- Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are sometimes considered together as psoriatic disease.
Who is at risk for psoriasis?
Anyone can get psoriasis. It occurs mostly in adults, but children can also get it. Men and women seem to have equal risk.
Can I get psoriasis from someone who has it?
Psoriasis And Your Genes
Psoriasis is often diagnosed in people ages 15 to 35, but it can affect anyone regardless of age, including children. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, about one-third of the people who get psoriasis are under age 20, and around 20,000 new diagnoses every year are children under the age of 10.
Genetics becomes important when one parent has psoriasis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, having a parent with the condition gives you a 28% chance of having psoriasis. If both of your parents have the condition, your risk jumps to 65%.
Researchers believe that mutated genes, in combination with environmental triggers, must interact to cause a person to develop psoriasis.
While rare, it is possible to get psoriasis without a family history, but the chance applies to a small group. In this case, a person has spontaneous gene mutations that can lead to psoriasis when triggered by environmental factors.
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How Does Psoriasis Affect The Scalp
The scalp is one of the most common places affected by plaque psoriasis. About half of people with psoriasis have symptoms on their scalps1. The back of the head is a particularly common place for symptoms, but they can occur anywhere on the scalp, around the hairline, around the ears, or on the back of the neck. Most people with scalp psoriasis have a mild form of the condition that often responds well to treatment.
Read more information on symptoms and treatments for scalp psoriasis.
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed And Treated
Psoriasis often has a typical appearance that a primary care doctor can recognize, but it can be confused with other skin diseases , so a dermatologist is often the best doctor to diagnose it. The treatment of psoriasis usually depends on how much skin is affected, how bad the disease is , or the location . Treatments range from creams and ointments applied to the affected areas to ultraviolet light therapy to drugs . Many people who have psoriasis also have serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Some people with psoriasis also have an inflammatory condition which affects their joints, called psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis has many of the same symptoms as other types of arthritis, so a rheumatologist is often the best doctor to diagnose it. The treatment of psoriatic arthritis usually involves the use of drugs .
Psoriatic disease may be treated with drugs or a combination of drugs and creams or ointments.
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What Are The Complications Of Psoriasis
People with severe psoriasis have an increased risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, obesity, some types of cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and other immuneârelated disorders, and liver and kidney disease.
The condition can affect the nails and joints, and can seriously affect someone’s emotional and social wellbeing. It may affect their ability to work, go to school or participate in physical activities.
How Does This Information Affect The Management Of Psoriasis
The bottom line is that the lack of precise information on the cause of psoriasis severely hampers the search for a cure. However, the current state of information has resulted in the development of new effective treatments, all based on trying to correct the faults within the immune system. It is hoped that future more effective treatments will be developed as understanding of the complex problems within the immune system increases.
Meantime, more straightforward actions such as reducing alcohol intake, stopping smoking and trying to cope with stress can be recommended. The course of psoriasis is unpredictable. Whilst remission of symptoms can occur, it may take weeks, months or even years.
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Psoriasis Triggers To Know
There are also other day-to-day triggers that dont necessarily cause psoriasis, but might make it worse or spark a flareup:
- Drinking a lot of alcohol
- Vitamin D deficiency
About half of patients with psoriasis experience a flare in their disease with stress. It can be mental stress or a physical stressor, says Dr. Reichenberg. Another common cause of flares is infections. We think that when a persons body starts to get the immune system ready to fight an infection, it also makes the part of the immune system responsible for psoriasis get over active.
What Type Of Psoriasis Treatment Will I Need
Several treatment options can relieve psoriasis. Creams or ointments may be enough to improve the rash in small areas of skin. If the rash affects larger areas, or you also have joint pain, you may need other treatments. Joint pain may be a sign that you have arthritis.
Your provider will decide on a treatment plan based on:
- Severity of the rash.
- Vitamin A or retinoid creams.
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Psoriasis Causes And Triggers
The exact cause of psoriasis is unclear.1 It is thought to be caused by a combination of your genetic makeup and environmental factors .2,3 Not everyone who inherits genes for psoriasis will develop the condition. If one of your parents has psoriasis you have a 1 in 10 chance of getting it yourself. If both your parents have psoriasis, this increases to a 1 in 2 chance.4
Having psoriasis genes and being exposed to certain triggers in your daily life may cause psoriasis to develop.3
Psoriasis triggers are not the same for everyone. What causes one person’s psoriasis to flare up may not affect another.1 You may also find your triggers change over time.1 Knowing your triggers makes them easier to avoid and helps you take control of your skin.
Triggers are different for each person what sets off psoriasis in one person may not have any affect in another. 1
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
There arent any special tests to help doctors diagnose psoriasis. Typically, a dermatologist will examine your skin and ask about your family history.
Youll likely be given a diagnosis based on this physical exam.
In some situations, doctors will remove a small sample of the skin and examine it under a microscope. This might allow them to get a better look at the affected area and make a more accurate diagnosis.
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What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
Research And Statistics: Who Has Psoriasis
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, about 7.5 million people in the United States have psoriasis. Most are white, but the skin disease also affects Black, Latino, and Asian Americans as well as Native Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The disease occurs about equally among men and women. According to the National Institutes of Health , it is more common in adults, and you are at a greater risk if someone in your family has it. A study published in September 2016 in the journal PLoS One concluded that interactions between particular genes as well as genetic and environmental factors play an important role in the diseases development.
People with psoriasis generally see their first symptoms between ages 15 and 30, although developing the disease between 50 and 60 years of age is also common.
The biggest factor for determining prognosis is the amount of disease someone has, says Michael P. Heffernan, MD, a dermatologist at the San Luis Dermatology and Laser Clinic in San Luis Obispo, California.
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What Are Other Types Of Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type. About 80% to 90% of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis.
Other, less common types of psoriasis include:
- Inverse psoriasis appears in skin folds. It may look like thin pink plaques without scale.
- Guttate psoriasis may appear after a sore throat caused by a streptococcal infection. It looks like small, red, drop-shaped scaly spots in children and young adults.
- Pustular psoriasis has small, pus-filled bumps on top of the red patches or plaques.
- Sebopsoriasis typically appears on the face and scalp as red bumps and plaques with greasy yellow scale. This type is a cross between psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.
Are Psoriasis Shampoos Available
Coal tar shampoos are very useful in controlling psoriasis of the scalp. Using the shampoo daily can be very beneficial adjunctive therapy. There are a variety of over-the-counter shampoos available without a prescription. There is no evidence that one shampoo is superior to another. Generally, the selection of a tar shampoo is simply a matter of personal preference.
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