What Are The Other Symptoms Of Psoriasis
Psoriasis can also affect more than just the skin. It can have a wide range of health complications and increase the chances of certain diseases.
If untreated, one of the most serious complications patients can develop is psoriatic arthritis, causing joint damage and loss of function, which affects approximately a third of psoriasis patients, says Dr. Vekaria.
Psoriasis patients also need to be careful with their diet and watch for fluctuations in their weight. The disease is known to increase obesity, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. For the latter, the risk becomes greater as the severity of the psoriasis increases.
Other conditions to be mindful of include cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases like celiacs, sclerosis and an inflammatory bowel illness known as Crohns disease. Moderate to severe psoriasis has also been linked to a higher risk of kidney and Parkinsons as well.
Of course, patients also need to take care of their mental health as they manage their symptoms. Psoriasis often affects a patients quality of life and is associated with low self-esteem, depression and withdrawal from social life.
While this can all sound overwhelming, there are many effective ways to treat psoriasis in its various forms.
Tips For Dealing With Psoriasis On The Elbows & Knees
Prescription medications are not the only ways for people with plaque psoriasis can help to manage psoriasis on the elbows and knees. For example, some people find that routines such as taking a daily lukewarm bath and avoiding harsh soaps can provide some relief by loosening scales and soothing the skin.
Most people with psoriasis find that the condition will flare up for a period of time, during which the symptoms become worse. These flare-ups are often caused by certain triggers, and everyone has a different set of triggers for their disease2.
To help prevent flare-ups, it can be helpful to try and identify your own personal triggers so that you can try to avoid them if possible. Common triggers for plaque psoriasis flare-ups are things like stress, skin injuries, smoking, and getting too much sun exposure.
Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra
Formulated in 1926, Weleda Skin Food remains a popular skin care product due to its deeply hydrating and nourishing properties that smooth dry, rough skin.
The botanical formula includes pansy, rosemary, and chamomile extracts. It also contains beeswax, sunflower oil, and sweet almond oil.
The thick cream helps reduce flaking, absorbs well, and brightens skin, making it a good makeup primer. It creates a dewy, healthy glow and prevents makeup from cracking or caking.
Weleda Skin Food has a fresh, light herbal scent that many people find pleasant. However, it might not be the best option for people who prefer fragrance-free products.
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What Causes Scalp Psoriasis
Scalp and other forms of psoriasis occur when the immune system doesnt work properly. Skin cells grow too quickly, growing within days rather than weeks. The body cant shed these skin cells quickly enough to match the new growth. They pile up on the skins surface, causing psoriasis.
People with family members who have scalp psoriasis are more likely to have the condition themselves. Those with HIV, stress, obesity, and those who smoke are also more likely than others to have this condition.
Common triggers that set off or worsen flare-ups of scalp psoriasis include:
- infections, including strep throat or skin infections
- skin injuries, such as cuts, scrapes, insect bites, or severe sunburn
Ways To Avoid Irritating Genital Psoriasis
To get the best results from treatment and avoid flares, you want to avoid irritating genital psoriasis. The following can help you do just that:
When treating genital psoriasis, use the treatment that your dermatologist prescribed for this area. Psoriasis treatment that youre using on another part of your body can be harmful in the genital area. Tazarotene can irritate the area, making genital psoriasis worse. Any type of phototherapy can increase your risk of developing genital cancer. Strong coal tar therapy may also increase the risk of genital cancer.
Tell your dermatologist if the treatment irritates any skin in your genital area.
Use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser. When bathing, you want to avoid deodorant or antibacterial soaps and body washes. These can irritate the delicate skin, causing genital psoriasis to flare.
Moisturize. Gently applying a fragrance-free moisturizer to the psoriasis after bathing and when the area feels dry can reduce chaffing and irritation.
Use quality toilet paper. This can help reduce irritation.
Avoid getting urine or feces on genital psoriasis. These can cause psoriasis to flare.
Wear loose-fitting underwear and clothing. Tight-fitting clothing can cause friction, which can worsen genital psoriasis.
Get plenty of fiber in your diet. Eating a high-fiber diet or taking a fiber supplement will ease bowel movements.
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Wet Dressings And Warm Baths With Salts Or Oats
Baths and showers can be relaxing, but those that are too long or too hot can strip the skin of its oils, and this can make psoriasis worse.
Some people find that a warm bath containing colloidal oatmeal or Epsom salts is soothing and relieves symptoms.
According to , an oatmeal bath or a wet dressing can reduce itching, and a warm bath containing a suitable bath oil can help moisturize the skin.
In 2005, researchers found evidence that Dead Sea salts might help with dry skin. Volunteers immersed a forearm in water with a 5-percent concentration of magnesium salts, the most common minerals in the Dead Sea, for 15 minutes.
The participants skin barrier function improved, their skin hydration was better, and they had reduced roughness and inflammation compared with the control group who used tap water instead.
After bathing, applying an appropriate moisturizer while the skin is still damp can help prevent moisture loss.
How Many People Have Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a fairly common skin condition and is estimated to affect approximately 1%-3% of the U.S. population. It currently affects roughly 7.5 million to 8.5 million people in the U.S. It is seen worldwide in about 125 million people. Interestingly, African Americans have about half the rate of psoriasis as Caucasians.
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How Is Psoriasis Treated
Psoriasis is usually treated by a dermatologist . A rheumatologist may also help with treatment. Treatments can include:
- ultraviolet light from the sun or from home or office treatments. But in some children, sunlight can make psoriasis worse.
- creams, lotions, ointments, and shampoos such as moisturizers, corticosteroids, vitamin D creams, and shampoos made with salicylic acid or coal tar
- medicines taken by mouth or injected medicines
A doctor might try one therapy and then switch to another, or recommend combining treatments. It’s not always easy to find a therapy that works, and sometimes what works for a time stops helping after a while.
Consider Wearing A Lighter Color Palette For Affected Areas
Flakes are fun, arent they? If you deal with them on a regular basis, you may not have much navy blue or black in your closet.
Even though black tends to be a staple color in New York, there were times I had to go with a medium gray in the autumn and winter. This helped minimize the appearance of flakes on my clothes.
Sometimes your scalp may be the only affected area. Lighter dress shirts for men or blouses for ladies will help greatly.
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Hydrocortisone Creams And Ointments
You can buy a mild corticosteroid like hydrocortisone without a prescription. For a few small patches of psoriasis, a mild hydrocortisone works well. If you have more than a few small patches, youll likely need a prescription corticosteroid to see results.
Whether OTC or prescription, this medicine works quickly to:
Reduce the itch
If you have cracked or bleeding skin, an ointment will likely feel better than a cream. Ointments tend to be more soothing and less irritating than creams.
MoisturizerThis may help anyone who has psoriasis because psoriasis makes the skin dry and scaly. Moisturizer helps to seal water in the skin, which can:
Help your skin heal
Dermatologists recommend applying moisturizer once a day, and more often when your skin is really dry. When shopping for a moisturizer, you want to select a:
Heavy cream, ointment, or oil rather than a lotion
Product that you like and will use
Oil can be especially healing, but its also messy. To reap the benefits of oil, try applying it before bedtime.
Moisturize before washing
For best results, you want to apply your moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing and after washing your hands.
Scale softenersYoull find OTC products and prescription medicines that contain salicylic acid. This active ingredient helps to:
Remove and soften scale
Removing the scale helps other medicine that you apply to your skin to work better.
What Does Psoriasis On The Elbows And Knees Look Like
Psoriasis plaques on the knees and elbows can take different forms in different people and can change for the same person over time. There might be a couple of small patches, or the entire knee or elbow might be covered.
Because of their position on joints of the body that are constantly moving during normal activities, psoriasis plaques on the knees and elbows can often tend to have small cracks form in the dry, thickened skin2.
These cracks are called fissures. Fissures can cause some bleeding at times, and they can be painful.
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How Common Is Psoriasis On The Elbows And Knees
Two of the most common places on the body to be affected by plaque psoriasis are the elbows and the knees. In fact, one study of people living with plaque psoriasis found that almost half of the people had psoriasis symptoms on their elbows.1 Around 1 in 3 people in the study reported that they had patches of plaque psoriasis on their knees.
Treatment Of Psoriasis: An Algorithm
ASHA G. PARDASANI, M.D., STEVEN R. FELDMAN, M.D., PH.D., and ADELE R. CLARK, P.A.-C., Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Am Fam Physician. 2000 Feb 1 61:725-733.
See related patient information handout on psoriasis, written by the authors of this article.
Psoriasis is characterized by red, thickened plaques with a silvery scale. The lesions vary in size and degree of inflammation. Psoriasis is categorized as localized or generalized, based on the severity of the disease and its overall impact on the patient’s quality of life and well-being. Patient education about the disease and the treatment options is important. Medical treatment for localized psoriasis begins with a combination of topical corticosteroids and coal tar or calcipotriene. For lesions that are difficult to control with initial therapy, anthralin or tazarotene may be tried. The primary goal of therapy is to maintain control of the lesions. Cure is seldom achieved. If control becomes difficult or if psoriasis is generalized, the patient may benefit from phototherapy, systemic therapy and referral to a physician who specializes in the treatment of psoriasis.
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Psoralen Plus Ultraviolet A
For this treatment, you’ll first be given a tablet containing compounds called psoralens, or psoralen may be applied directly to the skin. This makes your skin more sensitive to light.
Your skin is then exposed to a wavelength of light called ultraviolet A . This light penetrates your skin more deeply than ultraviolet B light.
This treatment may be used if you have severe psoriasis that has not responded to other treatment.
Side effects include nausea, headaches, burning and itchiness. You may need to wear special glasses for 24 hours after taking the tablet to prevent the development of cataracts.
Long-term use of this treatment is not encouraged, as it can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
Top 8 Best Cream To Treat Psoriasis
There are a lot of sprays, creams, lotion, ointments, solution, and others that can help treat the symptoms of your psoriasis. These kinds of treatments are called topical treatments, you can put these types of products directly onto the affected skin or your scalp.
However, there are some topical treatments that would need the prescription of a doctor. So to help you save time, we have listed down all the best cream to treat psoriasis that doesnt need the prescription of a doctor, you can even purchase them online which can also help save gas.
Here are the creams to help treat your psoriasis:
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Signs And Symptoms Of Psoriasis
Psoriasis plaques can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. The diseases symptoms and appearance vary according to the type and severity of psoriasis.
Some common signs and symptoms include:
- Discolored patches or raised plaques of skin that are covered with scales
- Burning, itching, or soreness near the affected areas
- Pitted or thickened fingernails or toenails
Psoriasis Area And Severity Index
The psoriasis area and severity index measures both the extent and severity of symptoms. It takes into account the intensity of thickness and scaling, giving scores of none , mild , moderate , severe , or very severe .
There is a tool for individuals to use for an approximate PASI score. However, this tool does not guarantee accuracy, and people should contact a doctor if they have concerns about psoriasis symptoms.
PASI also measures redness, but it is important to note that not all skin affected by psoriasis becomes red.
For example, for people with dark skin tones, their skin may become darker or take on a purplish hue. Also, people with brown skin may develop coral-colored patches of skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
People with dark skin have often had difficulty getting an accurate diagnosis of psoriasis. One reason for this is that changes may be easier to identify in light skin. However, diagnostic tools that only refer to how changes affect white skin may also have played a role.
Therefore, determining the presence of inflammation may be a better strategy than determining skin color changes when identifying the type of psoriasis for all skin types.
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Associated Features And Comorbidities
Assess risk factors and comorbid disease of psoriasis at presentation and as indicated thereafter.
- Cardiovascular risk factors, and management of these
- Measure blood pressure, lipid studies and fasting glucose at least annually.
Children with psoriasis may have higher rates of associated comorbid disease. Recommended screening for risk factors and comorbid disease depend on the childs age .
- All ages psoriatic arthritis, lipids, annually for depression and anxiety
- From age 2 annually for elevated body mass index
- From age 3 annually for hypertension
- From age 10 3 yearly for diabetes in patients who are obese or overweight and have 2 or more risk factors for diabetes screen for NAFLD in those who are obese or overweight with additional risk factors for NAFLD.
- From age 11 annual substance abuse screening
Eye conditions may occur more commonly in people with psoriasis . Consider asking patients about ocular symptoms at each follow-up appointment .
Natural Alternative And Complementary Remedies
Some people use natural, alternative, or complementary therapies alongside medical treatment.
For mild symptoms, a natural treatment alone may suffice. People with severe symptoms, however, will most likely need to use it in addition to treatment from the doctor.
Options that people sometimes use include:
- various treatments from traditional Chinese medicine
A doctor may also make recommendations regarding lifestyle measures, including:
Smoking and drinking alcohol can act as triggers for psoriasis and increase the risk of other conditions. Experts strongly recommend people with psoriasis quit or avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
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The Future Of Psoriasis Treatment
Psoriasis shouldnt have to infringe upon your life. Although it can be a frustrating skin condition to live with, there are now several medications and sophisticated treatments that can help ease symptoms and manage the disease.
Ongoing clinical trials are leading to even more effective therapies, and with so many advancements in the field, patients who deal with psoriasis have an opportunity to more effectively manage their symptoms.
Luckily, through an active therapy regime and the support of a dermatologist, psoriasis and its sudden outbreaks no longer have to be an enigma for patients. Though psoriasis remains technically incurable, new advancements offer an optimistic future that keeps getting better for people with the disease, offering them opportunities to break free from the pain, irritation, or even social stigma which may have otherwise burdened them in the past.
Anjali S. Vekaria is a board-certified dermatologist at The Dermatology Specialists. She received her bachelors degree from the University of Georgia, her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, and completed a research fellowship and dermatology residency at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Vekaria has overseen 40+ clinical trials for new medications treating skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis and has authored several peer-reviewed articles in her field.
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Other Treatments For Psoriasis
If youve found that psoriasis creams are having no effect upon your symptoms, you should speak to a doctor. They may suggest a more potent topical treatment, or refer you to a dermatologist for specialised treatment.
Treatment plans for severe psoriasis typically involve phototherapy with ultraviolet light, or systemic treatments given as tablets, capsules or injections.
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