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How to…Manage Your Skin Condition – Psoriasis

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Manage Your Skin With Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales to appear, that can become itchy or sore if scratched. These patches normally appear on elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body.

For most people it's just a minor irritation that affects small areas of the body. However, in severe cases it can cover the whole of the body, and have a major impact on quality of life.

Psoriasis can start at any age, but most often develops in adults under 35 years old. It currently affects around 2% of people in the UK, almost 1.3m people. That does seem a high figure, but it’s so common because there are so many varieties of the condition.

Chronic Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common type of psoriasis that people suffer from, and is usually found on the knees and elbows in the form of red or pink patches, which are flaky with a scaly layer on top. The severity of chronic plaque psoriasis varies hugely in individuals, with some much more severe than others.

Flexural Psoriasis: This is a different type of chronic plaque psoriasis and is usually found in the armpit, groin, under the breasts or where the skin folds. With flexural psoriasis the area looks slightly different, with the skin tending to look shiny rather than scaly in appearance but too can cause some itchiness and discomfort.

Scalp Psoriasis: Again, this is a variation of chronic plaque psoriasis. Many people who suffer from plaque psoriasis tend to also suffer from scalp psoriasis, although not exclusively. It looks like dandruff, and in severe cases can cause hair loss.

Postural Psoriasis: This form of psoriasis is primarily found on the palms of the hands or bottom of the feet and looks like small spots filled with pus, which tend to be reddened. In rare forms of postural psoriasis the spots can also be found on the body, which is much more serious and sufferers should seek urgent medical attention from a skin specialist.

Guttate Psoriasis: Guttate psoriasis occurs all over the body and appears like small, oval inflamed spots which are scaly and tender. This type of psoriasis usually disappears after a few weeks and doesn’t return, although there have been cases where the bout can last up to four months.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis: A rare, yet extremely severe type of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis causes the skin to become red, scaly and inflamed all over; with the patches expanding and eventually joining together. This is more of a serious case of psoriasis and needs medical attention. A fever can also be developed due to this type of psoriasis.

Nail Psoriasis: Nail psoriasis looks like small indents in the finger or toe nails and uniquely can occur without any skin rashes. It can cause the nails to change colour with the edge of the nail becoming orange, yellow in colour. There is also a possibility of the nail loosening on the nail bed.

Fortunately there is a wide variety of psoriasis treatment available. Like with eczema treatment, many act and treat the symptoms in a similar way, so it’s a case of finding which works best for you. Treatments include:

Dovonex
Dovonex ointment contains calciprotriol which is a synthetic form of vitamin D3 and works by reducing the production of skin cells. Psoriasis usually causes increased skin cell production, causing the skin to thicken and become scaly. Calciprotriol aids in decreasing the excessive skin cell production and facilitates normal skin cell growth. Dovonex allows the skin to flatten and to clear up psoriasis plaques.

Calcipotriol Scalp Solution
Calcipotriol is a treatment for scalp based skin conditions such as Psoriasis. Like Dovonex, Calcipotriol is a derivative of vitamin D3 and works by slowing the growth rate of skin cells and reduces the redness and other symptoms associated with Psoriasis.

Dovobet Gel
Dovobet ointment contains two active ingredients, betamethasone and calcipotriol (mentioned above). More suitable for application to the skin, rather than scalp, this form of calcipotriol acts in the same way; by reducing the production of skin cells and promoting normal skin cell growth. This helps flatten and clear the psoriasis plaques.

Timodine
Timodine cream contains four active ingredients, hydrocortisone, nystatin, benzalkonium chloride and dimeticone. Hydrocortisone is another type of corticosteroid (or steroid) and is used to decrease inflammation in the skin. When Timodine is applied to the skin it is absorbed into the skin cells, in turn reducing inflammation and other symptoms related to psoriasis and eczema.

As there are so many different forms of treatment, all of which are readily available, finding the one most suitable to you and your condition can be a tricky process, but one your doctor will be able to help with.

Psoriasis can be a frustrating disorder but it’s important to remember it is a highly manageable condition and one that needn’t have a negative effect on an individual’s life.

If you have any questions about psoriasis, we have a team of in-house doctors that will be able to offer advice. Before starting any course of treatment, please make sure that you read and understand the labelled directions and any potential side effects.

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