BEAUTY

Want To Understand More About Psoriasis -What Causes It, What Makes It Worse, and How To Soothe It

Anyone who lives with Psoriasis (celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Cara Delevingne) will know how itchy and sore it can be, you might be aware of the well-known symptoms but that only touches the surface compared to the reality of living with the condition. The environment can affect have severe the symptoms get. Also, its chronic nature can have a serious effect on self-esteem and confidence really due to the patches of dry skin it causes, and this can often be very red and cracked. Carry on reading if you want to understand more about psoriasis – what causes it, what makes it worse, and how to soothe it.

What is Psoriasis?

On the NHS website it say that “Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. These patches normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body. Psoriasis affects around 2% of people in the UK. It can start at any age, but most often develops in adults under 35 years old, and affect men and women equally. Psoriasis is a long-lasting (chronic) condition that tend to involve periods when you have no symptons or mid symptoms, followed by periods when symptons that are more severe.”

“Skin cells are normally made and replaced every 3 to 4 weeks, but in psoriasis this prcess only takes about 3 to 7 days. The resulting build-up of skin is what creates the patches associated with psoriasis.”

What’s the different types of Psoriasis?

There are varities different types of Posrasis and are identified by their appearance on the body:

  • Guttate: It shows up in the form of small red teardrop-shaped spots with fine scales.
  • Plaque: This looks like large lesions covered by scales.
  • Pustular: Red bumps filled with pus.
  • Inverse: A condition involves red, shiny, smooth lesions that are found in the body’s folds such as the armpit or groin.
  • Erythrodermic: This is the rarest, that presents itself as a hot, peeling rash across the entire body.

In most cases, a person can just suffer from one type, but it is still not uncommon for some to face multiple classes. This can lead to psoriatic arthritis, characterised by inflamed and swollen joints.

What does Psoriasis look like?

Psoriasis is a little more complicated than just dry skin. It’s a long-lasting, chonic disease – there might be periods of time where is disapppears altogether, but there might be other times where it’s mild before flaring up and becoming more severe than ever.

What is Psoriasis?

The best treatment for Psoriasis?

There are varieties types of treatments for psoriasis and for the areas of skin that have been affected but said that, but finding the most effective one can be difficult. There are serval treatments that fall into three categories:

  • Topical – Creams and Ointments
  • Phototherapy – Ultraviolet light
  • Systemic – Oral and inected medication that works througout the entire body

Phototherapy

Phototherapy treatment uses natural and artificial light to help treat psoriasis. Artificial light therapy is offered in hospitals and some specialist centres – is usually provided by a trained dermatologist. This type of treatment isn’t the same as using a sunbed.

UVB (Ultraviolet B) Phototherapy

This type of phototherapy uses a wavelength of light that is invisible to the human eye. It’s an effective treatment for some types of psoriasis that haven’t had a great response from the use of topical treatment. The light helps to slow down the production of skin cells and each session takes around a few minutes, but you might need the treatment 2 or 3 times a week for between 6 to 8 weeks.

PUVA (Psoralen Plus Ultraviolet A)

This form of treatment will first be given as a tablet that contains psoralens, or psoralen that can be directly applied to the skin but this can cause your skin to become more sensitive to light. This kind of treatment is usually used on people who have a severe case of psoriasis that hasn’t responded well to other treatments.

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments are usually the first treatments in a form of creams and ointments, that are offered to treat mild to moderate cases of psoriasis and are used directly on the affected areas. Certain People find that topical treatments are all they need to control their condition, but it might take up to 6 weeks before you will be able to see noticeable results.

Steriod Creams or Ointments

This form of treatment is commonly used on mild to moderate psoriasis in most areas of the body. It works by reducing inflammation and itchiness, as well as slowing down the production of skin cells. Only use what is recommended or prescribed by your doctor, as overusing topical products can lead to skin thinning.

Emollients

This is a moisturising treatment that is applied directly onto the skin to reduce water loss and also cover the affected area with a protective film. If you are suffering from a mild form of psoriasis, then this emollient is probably the first treatment that your GP will suggest. The main benefit of using emollients is to reduce itchiness and scaling. It’s widely available over the counter, from a pharmacy or prescribed by a GP, nurse or health visitor.

Vitamin D Analogues

This is a cream that’s commonly used along with or instead of steriod creams and is usually offered to treat mild to moderate psoriasis affected areas like; limbs, scalp or trunk. the cream helps to slow down the production of skin cells and also has an anti-inflammatory effects. There is very few side effects from using the cream, just as long as you don’t over use than the recommonded amount.

Systemic Treatments (Tablets, Capsules and Injection)

Usually, systemic treatments are prescribed if either your psoriasis is severe or other courses of treatments haven’t worked. All systemic treatments for psoriasis have benefits and risks, but the medication can be highly effective in treating psoriasis but does have potentially serious side effects So make sure you talk to your doctor about your treatments options and any risks associated with them. There are two main types of systemic treatments, Non-biological and Biological.

Non-biological Medications

These are more commonly given as tablets or capsules.

Ciclosporin

This form of medication suppresses the immune system (immunosuppressant). It was originally used to help reduce transplant rejections but has been proven to effectively treat all types of psoriasis. The medication is usually taken daily. Taking this medication can increase the chances of kidney disease and high blood pressure; so you’ll need to be monitored on a regular base.

Methotrexate

Methotrexate is usually taken once a week and helps control psoriasis by slowing down the production of skin cells and reducing inflammation. The main short-term effects can include nausea and long-term effects can increase your chances of liver damage – so if you suffer from liver disease should not take methotrexate, and shouldn’t drink alcohol when taking it either. Also, it can affect the production of blood cells.

Acitretin

This type of medication is an oral retinoid that reduces skin cell production. It tends to be used to treat severe cases of psoriasis that haven’t responded well to other non-biological systemic treatments. It tends to be taken daily. There’s a wide range of side effects that includes dryness and cracking of the lips, dryness of the nasal passages and in rare cases, hepatitis.

Biological Medications

Biological treatments are different from traditional systemic drugs that have an impact on the entire immune system. The treatment only targets a specific part of the immune system – blocking a specific type of immune cell called a T-cell. This kind of treatment helps to reduce inflammation by targeting overactive cells within the immune system. It’s usually offered for people who suffer from severe psoriasis that hasn’t responded to other treatments, or if you can’t use other treatments.

Etanercept

This treatment is in a form of an injection twice a week, but if after 12 weeks there aren’t any improvements then the treatment will be stopped. The main side effects include rash when the injection is given. A medication affects the whole immune system, there is a risk of serious side effects like a serious infection.

Infliximab

It’s given via a drip (infusion) at a hospital and will have 3 infusions within the first 6 weeks, then 1 infusion every 8 weeks. However, if there aren’t any improvements after 10 weeks, the course of treatment will be stopped. One of the main side effects is a headache, but there are can of more severe side effects, including severe infections – this is because Inflixmab affects the whole immune system.

Ustekinumab

At the beginning of the course of treatment, it is injected, then again 4 weeks later and then future injections are every 12 weeks. If there’s no improvement after 16 weeks, then treatment will be stopped. The main side effect is a throat infection and a rash near the injection site.

What are the triggers that can make psoriasis worse?

There aren’t a long list of things that cause psoriasis to become worse, but the main things that increase the chance of a flare-up is:

  • Cold, dry weather
  • Alcohol
  • Being overweight
  • Skin damage (including cuts, scratches and sunburn)
  • Diet (the main culprit – being gluten free and eating nightshade vegetables such as; tomatoes, potatoes and aubergine)
  • Smoking

Recommend products for psoriasis?

This does fully depend on what areas of the body are affected, as well as the type of psoriasis a person has. But for a more general answer, the simple the product is (fewer ingredients like; alcohol, added fragrance and sulphates) the better it is for your skin. Instead, look for products that contain calming and soothing ingredients; oatmeal, aloe vera and shea butter are all good things.

Within the beauty industry in recent years, there is a wide variety of nourishing and smoothing skincare solutions and many of them have been approved by dermatologicalists to even suit the most sensitive skins and high-coverage, long-wearing body makeup that you wish to use to cover up areas of concern.

Miaderma Eczema & Psoriasis Shampoo

Miaderma Eczema & Psoriasis Shampoo £10

Miaderma Eczema & Psoriasis* Shampoo is a topical medical device for the treatment of Eczema and Psoriasis. It calms the scalp and alleviates the symptons of an itching, red, scaly and dry scalp. DDS5 and MDS17 have highly moisturising properties and help to treat itching and irritation of the scalp. This mild shampoo does not contain cortisones or antibiotics. The skin friendly formula is free of soap and perfume. *When this has been dtermind by a doctor. Click here for the link.

P Puri-Ichtilium Normalising Cleansing Gel for Body & Scalp Psoriasis 250ml

Pharmaceris Cleansing Gel For Body & Scalp £14.99

A specialist gel recommended for the daily cleansing of body and scalp skin suffering from psoriatic lesions, replacing traditional soap and shampoo. It also effectively treats excessive dryness, itching, and flaking of the skin. Click here for the link.

Ultraglide Silicone-Free Face Primer P1 with Light-Blurring Plant Cellulose

Facetheory Ultraglide Face Primer £7.49

Ultraglide Silicone-Free Face Primer P1 blurs the appearance of surface imperfections while protecting skin’s moisture balance. Ideal whether worn by itself as a hydrating mattifier, used to retouch shiny areas or as a smooth base for makeup application that helps extend its wear. Light enough to use on oily or combination skin. Click here for the link.

Vinchy Dermablend Correctiv Fuild Foundation £20

Achieve natural, flawless perfection with Vichy Dermablend Fluid Corrective Foundation, a long-lasting, high coverage liquid foundation with ‘barely there’ finish, developed to help camouflage minor to moderate skin concerns including acne, rosacea and scarring. Up to 16 hours flawless, natural-looking wear Ideal for both men and women and fortified with SPF35. Click here for the link.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation £29.75

Discover a flawless base with the Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup. This medium-to-full coverage foundation is oil-free, promoting long-lasting wear with a seamless, mattified finish.

Designed for up to 24 hours of coverage, the lightweight matte foundation helps to soothe the appearance of pores, blemishes and imperfections to clarify the complexion.

The waterproof foundation is formulated to combat sweat and resist humidity while helping to balance excess oil. Click here for the link.

You may also like...