Psoriasis is an incurable skin condition that can vary in severity with various factors playing a role in its development. Fortunately, though, it can be managed. Dermatology clinical nurse Selene Daly rounds up 15 need-to-know facts
1. Psoriasis is a chronic illness
Currently, there is no cure for psoriasis. Once the disease is triggered the condition is lifelong. Psoriasis can come and go and vary in severity. The good news is that with the right medical care psoriasis can be managed.
2. People with psoriasis may develop arthritis
Approximately 10pc of patients with psoriasis will develop a form of arthritis called psoriatic arthropathy. This occurs when the immune system attacks the joints resulting in pain, swelling, and stiffness, particularly in the morning. If left untreated, psoriatic arthropathy can cause irreversible deterioration of the joints.
3. Psoriasis is a genetic condition but environmental factors also play a role in its development
Psoriasis is an inherited skin condition with a complex genetic pattern. For many people, factors such as infection, stress, medications (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, beta blockers, lithium, and anti-malaria), smoking and alcohol can cause psoriasis to trigger and flare. The relationship between foods and flares of psoriasis has not been established.
4. Psoriasis is not contagious
It is not something you can catch or that others can catch from you.
5. psoriasis is a process where the rate of skin turnover is dramatically increased
The normal rate of turnover for the skin is three to four weeks. In people with psoriasis, this process happens in just three to four days. Skin affected by psoriasis is scaly, red and raised off the surface of the normal skin. Some people suffer from psoriasis of the hands and feet and can develop painful cracks and fissures that can affect their work and hobbies. Nail psoriasis can be embarrassing and painful as the nail can become thick and cracked and sometimes fully lift from the nail bed. When psoriasis affects the scalp it may appear as mild dandruff or in more severe cases it can form thick white scales and result in hair loss.
About the author : *Selene Daly is a dermatology nurse specialist at Sligo University Hospital. See