What To Think About
Some medicines used to treat psoriasis can cause serious side effects. You and your doctor will discuss how long to use treatments that could cause harm. You will also need to see your doctor regularly and may have blood tests while using some medicines.
Many oral or injected medicines used to treat psoriasis aren’t safe during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking any medicines.
What Are The Possible Complications Of Psoriasis
- People who have more than 10% of their body covered in psoriasis are more inclined to develop psoriasis arthritis, a severe inflammation of the joints.
- They also run the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Other complications that can arise in patients diagnosed with psoriasis are heart and liver diseases.
- The patients mental well being may also be affected. According to reports, many people with psoriasis suffer from depression.
Psoriasis Triggers And How To Handle Flare
Almost everyone has experienced a Psoriasis flare-up at some point in their life. For those who suffer from Psoriasis, however, flare-ups are an all too common occurrence. While the triggers for a Psoriasis flare-up can vary from person to person, there are some general triggers that are known to cause or worsen symptoms. Here we will discuss 10 of the most common Psoriasis triggers and offer tips on how to best handle them when they occur.
How does stress cause psoriasis and how to deal with it?
The link between stress and psoriasis has been well established. The cause of this connection is uncertain, but it may have something to do with an overproduction or release of cortisol the hormone released when you are stressed or anxious that can trigger symptoms such as acne on your skin . One way people deal with this issue at home: they lighten up their lives by doing things like reading books instead watching TV all day long which will help them relax more easily while reducing inflammation levels in general through physical activity too-this not only helps get rid those pesky red bumps from popping out during a stressful time!
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Cuts and Bruises
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What Vitamins Can Help Psoriasis
Vitamins are no replacement for conventional psoriasis treatments, but vitamins A, E, D, and C may help to reduce symptoms and prevent severe flare-ups. Speak to a doctor before supplementing vitamins to manage a medical condition. Vitamin intake is more effective in the diet than in supplement form.
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What Is The Relationship Between Psoriasis And Your Diet
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disorder. The body mistakenly attacks its own tissue, explains Wesdock. It starts overproducing skin cells, which lays down plaques on your skin. Plaques are red, scaly patches that can be itchy or painful. Sometimes psoriasis is accompanied by psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory joint condition.
Neither of these conditions is caused by anything you eat, but theres an important link between your diet and psoriasis. Many foods are known to cause inflammation throughout the body. In some people, this widespread irritation can make the symptoms of psoriasis worse.
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Foods Containing Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates are highly processed . Theyve been stripped of fiber and whole grains and tend to contain a lot of sugar, which can cause your blood sugar to spike. Refined carbohydrates also increase advanced glycation end products, which are substances in your blood that can lead to inflammation.
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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Medications For Severe Scalp Psoriasis
If you have moderate to severe scalp psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe a drug you take by mouth or one thats injected or pumped through a needle into a vein. Oral medications include:
- A strong form of vitamin A called a derivative
- , a small molecule inhibitor taken twice daily
Since these medications can cause serious side effects, including liver damage, they require a doctorâs close eye. Its also important to know that oral vitamin derivatives are different from and more powerful than vitamin supplements bought over the counter. Ordinary vitamin A and D supplements do not help.
The latest class of FDA-approved medications are called biologics. These drugs, which you get by injection or IV, may keep your skin from making too many cells. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 11 biologics may work:
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Home Remedies For Psoriasis
There are many home remedies in the treatment of psoriasis. It is very important to keep the skin moist to avoid dryness. Petroleum jelly, vegetable shortening, or olive oil can be used as moisturizers. Take fewer showers and baths to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils. Adding salts, oil, or finely ground oatmeal to a bath can soothe the skin. Heliotherapy can be effective in controlling psoriasis. There is also evidence that increased body mass is associated with psoriasis and that heavier individuals are more difficult to treat.
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How Fast Does Psoriasis Flare Up
It depends. Psoriasis flares from a medication can vary depending on the person and the drug.
Since this can vary so much from person to person, it may be difficult to know which medications if any are causing your psoriasis to worsen.
How Often Should You Shower With Psoriasis
Showering or bathing too often can increase the amount of moisture you lose through your skin, making it dry and irritated. âIt can make already inflamed skin feel even worse,â says Dr. Unwala. She suggests bathing once a day and limiting baths to no more than 15 minutes and showers to 5 minutes.
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Clinicians Must Be Ready To Treat Such Flares Which Are Inevitable
While psoriasis is by definition a chronic disease, it can be successfully controlled for long periods of time.
One way of looking at how well a patient’s psoriasis is controlled is to see how it is affecting a patient’s quality of life, said Laura K. Ferris, MD, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The disease can be considered to be well controlled “if it’s not interfering with your life anymore, and you’re not uncomfortable in terms of pain or sleep, and you’re satisfied with your treatment,” she said.
But there are also objective measures. For example, the National Psoriasis Foundation has established a treatment strategy called “treat to target” under which “well-controlled psoriasis” would mean clear or almost clear skin — the presence of psoriasis on 1% or less of the body — within 3 months of the start of treatment.
But no matter how well controlled the disease is, a patient is likely to experience exacerbations or “flares” at some point. “It’s the nature of the disease,” said Ferris.
And while the disease can get worse or better on its own, it can be susceptible to certain triggers, such as stress. “It’s one of the biggest ones we see,” said Ferris. “If my patients are under a lot of emotional stress, or family stress, or stress at work, their skin will definitely get worse.”
Menter pointed out that some medications are also known to act as triggers, such as beta blockers and lithium.
What To Do If Your Medication Triggers Your Psoriasis
Psoriasis that is caused or worsened by a medication can look similar to regular psoriasis, so it can be hard to know if a medication is to blame for your flare. Its important to keep in mind that other things like stress or an illness can also trigger psoriasis.
If you think a medication is making your psoriasis worse, the first step is to talk to your provider. Its important that you dont stop any medications on your own. Your provider will help you come up with a plan to stop the medication and start a new one if needed.
In some situations, just stopping the medication will improve or reverse the psoriasis flare. In other situations, you will need to treat the psoriasis even after stopping the medication. If this happens, your provider will help you come up with the best treatment plan for you.
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Avoid Trauma To Your Skin
One interesting and unique feature of psoriasis is a response called the Koebner phenomenon. This is the skins tendency in psoriasis to cause new areas or worsen existing areas with trauma or damage to the skin.
Common causes of this reaction are cuts and scrapes, but anything that damages the skin can cause it, especially picking and scratching at your lesions. Chronic rubbing or friction such as caused by a tight hat brim, waistband, or chin strap are some other examples, as well as thermal burns or chemical damage to the skin.
Also keep in mind that while a bit of sun exposure can be beneficial, too much sun exposure, especially a sunburn is another trauma and possible trigger for a flare.
Dealing With A Psoriasis Flare
If you have psoriasis, you may choose your wardrobe and even your activities based on how active your disease is. The inflamed, itchy, scaly plaques that cover your skin can make you feel self-conscious and affect the way that others react to you, too.
Our expert dermatologists at Specialists in Dermatology in Houston, and The Woodlands, Texas, offer cutting-edge, effective psoriasis therapies including topical and oral medications, and biologics to clear your skin quickly and beautifully. If you do have a flare-up, here are a few tips on how to stay comfortable until you can get treatment.
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What Is Psoriasis Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes plaques, which are itchy or sore patches of thick, dry, discolored skin.
While any part of your body can be affected, psoriasis plaques most often develop on the elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms, and feet.
Like other autoinflammatory diseases, psoriasis occurs when your immune system which normally attacks infectious germs begins to attack healthy cells instead.
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 people, 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 for a while and then switch to another. Or a doctor may combine different therapies. It’s all about finding one that works for each person.
Sometimes what works for a while might stop working. This is one reason why it’s important to work closely with a doctor. Trying out new treatments can get a little frustrating, but most people eventually find one that works.
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Diet And Psoriasis: What’s The Connection
Can your diet help keep psoriasis under control? Maybe. An observational study published online July 25, 2018, by JAMA Dermatology found that people with psoriasis who followed a Mediterranean diet an eating pattern rich in fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, fruit, nuts, and extra-virgin olive oil experienced fewer severe flare-ups. This was only an association and more research is needed, but experts believe the Mediterranean diet contains many foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and may offer extra protection against psoriasis triggers.
How Psoriatic Arthritis Flares Are Diagnosed
Because PsA flares dont have a set definition, the diagnosis is made in large part through communication with your doctor. The first thing we do is we look at the history: whats been happening before the flare, Dr. Husni says. We want to know what the triggers are for your disease and we want patients to see the connection.
A skin flare is a bit easier to identify, and a diagnosis would be made with a rheumatologist and dermatologist. We work very closely with the dermatologist its important that they are involved in the treatment decision, Dr. Husni says.
PsA flare-ups can be so hard to pin down that both professionals we talked to suggested keeping a brief diary of your symptoms to help your doctor diagnose when they are happening, and why.
I recommend that people keep a symptom diary over time so that they can keep track of the conditions that might have preceded their flares in their lifetime, so that they can respond more proactively in the future, Crow says. Unfortunately often its most clear in retrospect. You can use our ArthritisPower app to track your symptoms and disease activity and share your results with your doctor.
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When In Doubt Consult Your Dermatologist
Once the subject of genital psoriasis has been broached with a health care provider or a patient navigator, thatâs not the last roadblock on the path to a diagnosis.
Rivera also comments that cases of misdiagnosis from gynecologists, while not the norm, may happen. âThere have been cases of patients, specifically women, who arenât diagnosed , going to their gynecologist when an issue in the genitals occurs,” says Rivera. âThe gynecologist, especially those not familiar with psoriasis, sometimes is unsure of what is going on or might misdiagnose the issue as an STD.â
Rivera says that many of those contacting the Patient Navigation Center about genital issues are concerned that their condition may be related to a sexually transmitted disease based on conversations with their primary care provider or gynecologist. If you find yourself in a similar situation, Rivera says it might be worth asking your doctor for a skin biopsy to test for psoriasis, especially if you have an existing diagnosis for psoriasis. That will save you the headache and cost associated with bouncing from one provider to another until you receive the correct diagnosis.
As a practicing physician, Dr. Van Voorhees agrees that confusion can stem from doctors who might be working with a limited knowledge base when it comes to psoriasis.
Develop An Action Plan
Work with your doctor to create an individualized psoriasis action plan. It should include ways to avoid your specific triggers as well as strategies to help reduce psoriasis symptoms when a flare does occur.
Your action plan for when a flare strikes may involve making changes to your routine. Having a plan laid out in advance can help you know exactly what to do in the event of a flare.
This may include:
- Take short lukewarm baths instead of showers.
- Spend an extra 5 to 10 minutes directly after your bath applying a thick moisturizer to your skin.
- Choose the best clothing to protect your skin without irritating it, like loose-fitting cotton.
- Limit alcohol.
Your psoriasis action plan should include anything that empowers you to manage a psoriasis flare, no matter what else is on your plate.
Put together a go-to kit of vital supplies that help you manage a flare when it occurs. Set it aside so you have it ready when you need it.
- scale-softening medications, like salicylic acid
- towels with soft fibers to use after bathing
- a cold compress to place on itchy areas for relief
When all of the right items are already set aside, you wont have to take time out of your day to hunt them down. You can get right to the relief you need during a flare.
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How Do Foods Cause Inflammation
Studies are ongoing about how certain foods trigger an inflammatory response. Research suggests that some foods, especially highly processed ones, put your bodys defense mechanisms into overdrive.
For example, fatty foods can increase inflammation in adipose tissue , which is throughout your body. Ongoing fat tissue inflammation greatly increases your risk of psoriasis. It also increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
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
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