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Is Psoriasis common?
Yes, it affects 2% of population. If you have psoriasis, you are not alone. Millions pf patients live with this long- lasting condition.
How did I get Psoriasis?
Researchers have found that to have psoriasis one must inherit the right mix of genes and be exposed to a certain trigger. The possible triggers include infection (such as a sore throat or tooth), increased stress level or trauma to the skin. Some medications are also capable of inducing psoriasis, including beta blockers, lithium and some anti- malarial tablets.
Is Psoriasis contagious?
No, Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease in which skin cells are made too quickly and build up into raised pink, scaly plaques. You cannot infect anyone with psoriasis, it cannot spread from person to person.
Can Psoriasis be cured?
There currently are a number of treatments available, which allow to control psoriasis completely. The disease has its own course and can sometimes go into a spontaneous remission, which may last for many years. It is not however possible to cure Psoriasis completely. It may recur albeit in a different, frequently much less severe, form.
Is Psoriasis a skin disease only?
Having Psoriasis increases one’s risk for certain other diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. Psoriasis is now recognised as an inflammatory disease of the whole body, it is therefore important to monitor your health very closely for any signs of these diseases, particularly in patients who have a severe form of psoriasis.
My Psoriasis clears after sun exposure, can I use sun beds to treat it?
Although phototherapy (UV radiation) may be used to treat psoriasis it is absolutely contraindicated to use artificial tanning devices (sun beds) on your own to treat it. The treatment with UV radiation (narrow band UVB or UVA) has to be administered in a specialized setting, by experienced dermatology staff. The number of phototherapy treatment sessions has to be calculated carefully, to avoid a possible risk of developing skin cancer and skin UV induced damage. Because psoriasis is a life-long disease, one has to bear in mind that a limited number of light treatment sessions is safe. Phototherapy should not be repeated too frequently, as there is a certain amount of UV radiation which can be administered safely throughout a patient’s lifetime. Light treatment should not be repeated for the next 12 months after a course of treatment. This is especially important in Jersey, where there is a high UV exposure all year round.
Can certain injections be used to cure Psoriasis? I heard that my friend had them and now he is completely free of the disease, could I have these prescribed?
There are different types of Psoriasis, each type appears differently on the skin. Also – the patients are different and the treatment for psoriasis has to be tailored to suit a particular patient’s needs.
Bearing in mind that Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease, one has to go stepwise – to use a therapeutic ladder. It is worth remembering that every form of treatment may be related to certain risks and side effects. My approach and duty as a physician is to try and help a patient to find the best treatment that would be suitable, acceptable and effective for them. For limited forms of the disease such as plaque Psoriasis, which is the most common form, with scaly red patches occurring on the skin, many different types of topical medications, applied to the skin can be used. Systemic medications (tablets) which work throughout the body, are used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis. Some of these treatments, such as tablets, can be used long-term, some can be only used for a limited time and may be combined and rotated to minimise side effects. In patients who suffer from moderate to severe psoriasis, and other treatments have not been successful, a biologic may be a suitable and effective treatment option.
British Association of Dermatologists – PSORIASIS
British Association of Dermatologists – PSORIASIS – TOPICAL TREATMENTS
British Association of Dermatologists – TREATMENTS FOR MODERATE OR SEVERE PSORIASIS
British Association of Dermatologists – PSORIASIS – TREATMENT IN CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE