Psoriasis is a common, chronic, scaly rash that affects people of all ages. Whilst there is a genetic predisposition to psoriasis it is also influenced by many environmental factors. It is not contagious and is not due to an allergy.
The condition is characterised by an unusually rapid growth of skin cells, resulting in thick red, white or scaly patches on the skin surface which usually have very well defined edges. The lesions can vary in size and commonly affect the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet or lower back. Additionally the nails may become involved or a small percentage of sufferers may develop psoriatic arthritis, resulting in joint pain
Main Contributing factors
- Genetic Influences
- Hormonal changes
- Ultraviolet light
- Smoking and alcohol
- Various medications
Treatment for Psoriasis: Varies depending on severity and location
- Topical (tar, oil baths, shampoo’s, cortisone)
- Phototherapy (light treatment)
- Oral treatment
- Debridement of calloused/scaly skin
What can you do?
- See you doctor or podiatrist for information on different treatments available.
- Learn what triggers it and consider necessary lifestyle changes such as controlled diet, avoiding excess alcohol consumption and controlling stress levels.
- Take good care of your skin. Avoid itching and apply regular emollients or moisturizers.