If you, a friend or a family member has recently been diagnosed with psoriasis, you probably have a ton of questions. In this article, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about psoriasis and provide a guide for available treatments.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune, chronic condition that causes skin cells to rapidly build up, resulting in inflamed, red scales on the skin that can sometimes crack and bleed.
How Is Psoriasis Treated?
Psoriasis is treated in several different ways, including with UV light therapy. This process, which can be conducted at home, allows people with psoriasis to treat their condition consistently and comfortably using a portable, handheld device. The device emits narrowband UVB rays to slow down the development of thick, scaly skin.
Phototherapy saves time while being convenient and secure. At-home light therapy is a portable treatment option that is directly linked to your physician for ultimate ease-of-use.
Psoriasis is can also be treated with a variety of topical medications, including steroid creams, salicylic acid, calcitriol and calcipotriol ointments, and coal-based products.
Oral treatment options, like methotrexate, can clear skin but often come with a host of side effects that require close supervision by a doctor. Retinoids are an alternative oral option that can be helpful but are not recommended for women looking to get pregnant.
Some doctors also recommend natural treatments like epsom salt baths and relaxation techniques to help clear up psoriasis symptoms, which can be made worse by stress.
What Causes Psoriasis?
While psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, there’s not much clarity as to why the immune system causes skin cells to regenerate too quickly.
Researches do agree that psoriasis can be triggered by a variety of conditions, including cold and dry weather, infections, skin injuries, bug bites, bad sunburns, stress, exposure to cigarette smoke and drinking too much alcohol. Other triggers may include taking certain medications or stopping corticosteroid use abruptly.
Is Psoriasis Contagious?
No, psoriasis is not contagious. You cannot catch it from another person, and you cannot spread it to anyone else.
Who Gets Psoriasis?
Anybody can get psoriasis, but some people are more at-risk than others. Psoriasis can sometimes be genetic, so if you have a blood relative with the condition, you may be at higher risk of having the condition, too.
How Can I Take Care Of My Psoriasis?
Your doctor can help you create a daily routine to keep your skin as healthy and happy as possible. Options like phototherapy are great because they can be customized to fit your lifestyle. Keeping skin moisturized, taking care of your mind and body, choosing sensitive body soaps and laundry detergents, and not scratching can all help combat the symptoms of psoriasis.
Where Can I Learn More About Psoriasis?
Talk to your doctor or dermatologist about psoriasis and how to best manage your condition.