Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition affecting around 1.3% of the UK population. It causes red, flaky, and often itchy patches of skin, impacting both physical comfort and emotional well-being. A timely diagnosis is vital for effective treatment aimed at symptom control and improving quality of life.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people around the world. Symptoms include red, flaky patches of skin which can be itchy and physically uncomfortable. In addition to the physical symptoms, psoriasis can lead to emotional distress, with conditions like low self-esteem and even depression arising as a result.
In the UK, approximately 1.3 percent of the population, or around 884,000 people, are affected by psoriasis—an autoimmune skin condition that can also affect joints and nails. A proper diagnosis is crucial for starting treatment as soon as possible, which can alleviate painful physical symptoms and aid in better mental health.
Although the exact cause of psoriasis is still under investigation, it is believed to result from a combination of genetic factors and environmental triggers such as stress, infections, and certain medications. The immune system plays a significant role, as overactive T-cells lead to the rapid reproduction of skin cells, causing the skin to become thick and develop red, itchy plaques.
Genetic factors can also contribute to your likelihood of developing psoriasis. A family history of the condition generally increases your risk, although it is not inevitable.
Psoriasis exists in a variety of forms, each with its unique symptoms and treatments. The five main types of psoriasis include:
Diagnosis generally involves a physical examination and a review of the patient's medical history. In some cases, a skin biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other skin conditions.
Treatment aims to manage symptoms, reduce inflammation, and prevent flare-ups. Common treatment methods include topical creams, light therapy, and medication. Specific products like Dovobet Gel may be prescribed, but each treatment plan is individualised, making it essential to consult a healthcare provider rather than attempting to self-medicate.
While psoriasis cannot be entirely prevented, flare-ups can be managed through various strategies. Stress management, avoiding known triggers like infections and certain medications, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can all contribute to better management of psoriasis. Collaborating with your healthcare providers and following a tailored treatment plan can make a significant positive impact.
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