Written in collaboration with Rosana Beechum
Skin conditions can range from mildly irritating to severely problematic, depending on how obvious they are and how much they affect your daily comfort. Psoriasis is something that affects a large number of people nowadays – around 2% of UK residents tend to have it – and it can make life quite difficult in some ways for those affected. The condition comes in various forms, with some people affected in small, localized patches, while for others, it’s much more pronounced.
What is psoriasis?
The main symptom of psoriasis are flaky, red spots of skin which shed frequently, and may feel itchy. Psoriasis is not fully understood as of yet, but what we do know is that it’s caused by an abnormally high rate of replacement of skin cells. In people affected by psoriasis, skin cells get replaced around four times as fast as normal, resulting in a lot of dead skin constantly shedding from the affected spots. The condition is generally harmless on its own, but it can cause a lot of discomfort, and in cases when it affects visible, exposed spots of the body, it can lead to social issues as well. Patient’s site has a good collection of psoriasis symptoms and possible triggers. It’s a good idea to go through the list and familiarise yourself with the basic factors associated with the condition if it affects you.
Psoriasis is a long-term condition, and those who live with it have to get used to the fact that it will always be there. Various topical treatments are available which can alleviate symptoms and reduce discomfort for the person affected, but they have to be applied on an ongoing basis. Vitamin D and corticosteroids are commonly used as a first line of treatment, but they are not always effective in every person. In more severe cases, alternative treatments may be required, especially if the condition affects a part of the body like the head and manifests more frequently.
Life with psoriasis
No matter the severity of one’s case, it’s important to understand that psoriasis can be controlled over time and its outbreaks can be kept to a comfortable minimum. While there’s nothing that can be done to effectively get rid of psoriasis once and for all, once a person has identified a set of treatments that work well on them, it’s only a matter of applying them on a regular basis. It’s also important to look for triggering factors which might cause outbreaks or exacerbate them. Once those have been identified, a person can adjust their lifestyle to avoid triggering their psoriasis. This can take some time and effort though, and it requires a lot of trial and error. The scariest part of psoriasis is arguably the period leading up to the final diagnosis. Once you understand what you’re dealing with and know what options you have for treating it, things tend to get easier. But until then, it’s important to pay attention to how psoriasis affects one’s body, and how different lifestyle factors affect the con