5 Facts You Should Know About Psoriasis
Psoriasis affects around 2% of people in the UK and causes red, flaky, and crusty patches of skin that often have silvery-looking scales. It is a chronic skin condition, meaning that it is a long-lasting disease with no cure. The severity and frequency of psoriasis can vary from person to person. Some people may only experience mild flare-ups from time to time while others may have persistent symptoms that greatly impact a person’s quality of life.
The condition affects both men and women equally and can happen at any age, although it usually first appears during adulthood. Most people will experience their first flare-up between the ages of 20-30 or 50-60.
5 Important Psoriasis Facts
If you or someone you know has psoriasis, you're likely already aware of the impact it can have on daily life. However, there are still several important facts about psoriasis that are not widely known. Here are the five facts of psoriasis that can help to deepen your understanding of this complex condition:
- Psoriasis is related to your immune system
- Psoriasis Isn’t contagious
- The symptoms of psoriasis can vary
- Flare-ups can occur when you’re sick
- Psoriasis and eczema are similar, but not the same
Psoriasis is related to your immune system
Psoriasis is a type of autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders are lifelong conditions that occur when your immune system attacks normal, healthy cells in your body. When you have psoriasis, your immune system attacks healthy skin cells and causes an inflammatory reaction.
It also causes your body to produce new skin cells at an accelerated rate to replace the ones it views as harmful, resulting in excess skin cells piling on top of each other. This excess is what’s responsible for the characteristic appearance and symptoms of psoriasis.
Psoriasis Isn’t Contagious
Unlike some types of rashes and other skin conditions, psoriasis isn’t contagious. Coming into contact with someone who has psoriasis won’t cause it to spread, but that doesn’t stop the stigma attached to the condition. Because people may not recognize psoriasis, they might think the sufferer has a contagious disease and avoid close contact.
This can cause emotional turmoil for the person with psoriasis, exacerbating issues with body image and self-esteem. Many people also develop anxiety and depression. To help battle this, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of psoriasis for what they are.
The Symptoms of Psoriasis Can Vary
Those familiar with psoriasis know that the condition can cause red, scaly, and silvery patches of skin. This is the most common form of psoriasis, called plaque psoriasis, but it’s not unusual for people to have different symptoms or other types of psoriasis.
Guttate Psoriasis causes tiny spots that are sometimes scaly and raised. They can appear on the arms, legs, torso face, scalp, and ears. These spots tend to appear when a person has an unrelated infection like tonsillitis. The bumps may disappear as soon as the unrelated infection clears.
Pustular psoriasis is a more serious form of psoriasis that results in reddish, scaly, pus-filled pustules. They can appear anywhere on the body, including the skin, inside the mouth, and under the nails. When the pustules burst and dry, the skin will become red, raw, and tender. If the pustules become widespread, medical care may be required to prevent any severe complications.
Inverse psoriasis, sometimes known as hidden psoriasis, affects the folds of your skin where skin is continuously rubbing against skin. This can be in places like the creases of your neck, your armpits, under the breasts, or between the thighs. It’s not uncommon for people with inverse psoriasis to experience other types of psoriasis as well.
Nail psoriasis causes symptoms in the nail beds and nail matrix of your fingernails and toenails. They may thicken, become weak or damaged, or change in colour or shape. The nails can also feel tender and painful. About 90% of people with chronic plaque psoriasis will experience nail psoriasis as well. There’s some evidence that nail psoriasis may be linked to the development of psoriatic arthritis.
Flare-ups Can Occur When You’re Sick
When you get sick your immune system has to work extra hard to help you recover. Part of this process involves increasing the amount of white blood cells in your system to fight the invading virus or bacteria. Since the immune system causes the symptoms of psoriasis, it’s not uncommon for these white blood cells to attack healthy skin cells, too.
Psoriasis and Eczema Are Similar, But Not the Same
Both psoriasis and eczema can cause red, itchy rashes in the same parts of the body, like the hands, elbows, and scalps. Neither condition is contagious. To the untrained eye, psoriasis and eczema can often be mistaken for each other.
However, despite these similarities, they are different diseases. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease while eczema has several potential causes. These include genetics, environmental factors, allergies, or certain soaps and cosmetics.
Psoriasis causes a milder itching than eczema and can sometimes create a burning feeling. The itching associated with eczema is often far more intense, to the point where the sufferer scratches their skin enough to make it bleed.
The treatment for the two conditions is different as well.
Treatment of Eczema
Creams and ointments with corticosteroids in them like Eumovate ointment are very effective at treating the symptoms of eczema. Also, because your skin tends to become very dry, applying moisturiser can help ease any itchiness. Avoid using moisturisers or lotions with perfumes in them and instead, look for ones that are made for sensitive skin. If the skin becomes infected, you may need antibiotics.
Treatment of Psoriasis
The most common form of psoriasis treatment is topical treatments like Betnovate ointment that are applied directly to the affected skin. For more severe cases, phototherapy or a combination of oral and injected medications may be used. You might have to try different treatments before finding one that works for you, and have regular reviews with your GP or dermatologist to check they’re still effective.
If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis you can get prescription creams and ointments shipped right to your door from Pharmacy Planet. Visit our website today to buy Betnovate Ointment and Cream Online in the UK. For those with eczema, you can buy Eumovate ointment online in the UK.