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World Psoriasis Day: All You Need To Know About Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition which leads to red and itchy patches on the skin. Read here to know from expert the symptoms of psoriasis, its treatment and management.

World Psoriasis Day: All You Need To Know About Psoriasis

World Psoriasis Day 2020: Stress can worsen the symptoms of psoriasis

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Unhealthy eating and stress can make psoriasis worse
  2. During winters keep your skin hydrated to prevent complications
  3. If people with psoriasis experience joint pain, seek expert help urgently

Psoriasis is an autoimmune, inflammatory, and non-contagious skin condition that causes new skin cells to develop rapidly than they otherwise normally. This accelerates the formation of new skin before the body can shed the old ones causing itchy, red, dry, and silvery scales on the skin's surface, also known as flare-ups. Common areas affected by psoriasis can be the skin of the hand, feet, knees, elbow, and scalp. If the condition progresses, flare-ups can also appear on skin folds, face, nails, and even the genital area.

While the exact cause of psoriasis remains unknown, it is commonly known to be triggered by several environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors, pre-medical conditions, etc., and affects differently in people depending on these factors.

Psoriasis is also associated with psoriatic arthritis, one of the most common co-morbidities of psoriasis. If people with psoriasis experience joint pain, they should immediately consult their treating dermatologists who may further seek an opinion of a rheumatologist too.


Also read: Everything About Psoriasis

Symptoms of psoriasis

The symptoms of psoriasis can vary depending on the type of psoriasis and severity of the condition. The initial symptoms of psoriasis are itchiness resulting in rashes or red or silvery scaly patches. In the later stage, the patches may crack and bleed due to excessive rubbing or scratching. Other signs of psoriasis can be having pitted and discolored nails.

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Psoriasis can lead to excessive urge to scratch
Photo Credit: iStock

Complications and management in the ongoing time of COVID-19

One of the common complications of psoriasis is that usually people experiencing its symptoms consult with a doctor who are not specialised in this line of treatment. In these cases, sometimes misdiagnosis takes place and patients may undergo wrong treatment like those for eczema, fungal infection, allergic dermatitis, etc. This leads to a longer road to correct diagnosis from a dermatologist. Also, psoriasis is perceived as a mere cosmetic skin condition, this is false, and it happens do to with malfunctioning of the immune system. Therefore, with more awareness about psoriasis, people will reach the right doctor to seek the correct diagnosis.

Patients are advised to not Indulge in self-treatment with home remedies that may aggravate existing symptoms. Incorporating dietary changes, regular exercise, avoiding alcohol consumption, and understanding the triggers of psoriasis like stress and smoking help in managing this condition better.

Also read: Follow These Expert Recommended Tips To Manage Psoriasis During Upcoming Winter

While topical therapies and oral medications are beneficial for mild psoriasis, advanced treatment therapies such as biologics are recommended for moderate to severe psoriasis. Owing to the ongoing pandemic, patients should keep the treating dermatologist informed as and when they notice any new symptom or side effects from the ongoing treatment. It is advises that patients should not compromise on treatment adherence and visit the clinics for necessary medical procedures while taking proper precautions of safety. This will help in achieving better and longer remission amid the pandemic.


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(Prof. Dr. Sandeep Arora, Head, Department of Dermatology, Army College of Medical Sciences & Base Hospital Delhi Cantt, New Delhi)

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