Psoriasis is an incurable long-running disease primarily affecting skin, and sometimes joints and nails in addition or in isolation that results in red scaly patches wherein skin is involved. Some patients have localized lesions confined to palms and soles, or only nails and or joints
- Psoriasis is a common skin condition prevalent in all countries and can affect any age
- Cause of Psoriasis is a subject of research and no single attributable reason can be
ascribed to manifestations of psoriasis. At best, psoriasis can be thought of as a disorder
of disease fighting capacity and some external factors that contribute its expression.
Psoriasis can occur at all ages and affects both genders equally. A typical psoriasis lesion
is slight to moderately pink patch of skin covered by layered scales of silvery feel and
- Majority of patients report involvement of outer aspects of trunk limbs and scalp while
other patterns too might be encountered.
- Treatment is directed at improving quality of life and to minimize patient discomfort
followed by maintenance with less aggressive modalities.
- A wide variety of drugs are used in the treatment of psoriasis and the aim of these is to
achieve long periods of symptom free period.
- Systemic corticosteroids in general should not be used in psoriasis. Psoriasis patients
need to avoid certain medications.
Tips for Psoriasis patients
Psoriasis, in general, is a manageable condition that needs self motivation, an understanding of its natural course, and a willingness to partner in its control sand treatment. It must not be viewed as a deterrent to an active and useful occupational, family, or social life.
Prevention of skin injury/ irritation is important in controlling appearance of fresh lesions. Consumption of medicines like pain killers, lithium, propranolol/beta blockers, antimalarials, systemic steroids, and indometahcin is known to aggravate psoriatic lesions. Immune system can be strengthened by healthy dietary habits, adequate physical activity, and
optimal sleep, avoidance of stress, alcohol and smoking. Cutting down intake of sugar, white flour, gluten, and caffeine are said to be helpful while fruits and vegetables are considered to be beneficial. Psoriasis patients should not engage in activities that have the risk of causing friction or injury to the skin because it is well known that upon injury, the injured part of the skin
develops psoriasis lesions more frequently than other areas. As far as possible insect bites, tattooing and acupuncture be refrained.
Liberal use of skin softeners like plant based oils on psoriatic lesions is effective in controlling the scales as well as stretching that often accompanies psoriatic lesions. In my experience with thousands of psoriatic patients, daily baths with gentle soaps, application of oils or moisturizers just after the bath with lukewarm water has proved more effective than using the same agents at other times. The scales should not be peeled off but softened with creams containing salicylic acid or emollients which help in their removal in a gentle manner. It is a good practice to trim one’s nails.
For some patients, exposure of lesions to sunlight or the use of Ultraviolet Light lamps has been very helpful in maintaining remissions. Introduction of Narrow Band UVB treatment, NBUVB, has come as a boon for patients who can handle the treatment in their homes and at a time of their choice, with added advantage of economy and safety.
For patients on Methotrexate, alcohol is strictly prohibited and periodic monitoring of liver function tests is mandatory.
Patients of psoriasis run greater risk of running skin cancers, depression, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Vitamin D deficiency, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Treatment for psoriasis should never be discontinued abruptly.
Your doctor is your best guide and patients should always follow his or her instructions faithfully.
Support groups for Psoriasis are a great way to stay informed and exchange help to stay well motivated.
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Dr Vinay Kumar
Senior Consultant Dermatologist
+91-93 199 299 00
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