Before considering how to deal with psoriasis, we must first understand what it is. Psoriasis is a skin disease caused by an unstable immune system and affects around 29.5 million people worldwide. Although it’s not contagious, it is known to run in families. Symptoms include:
- Inflamed Skin
- Skin Shedding
Psoriasis is an irritating condition that disfigures the appearance and hurts the sufferer psychologically. It’s also painful and uncomfortable. But don’t dismiss it as only a ‘nuisance disease’. In a paper published in ‘The Lancet’ on the 26th May, 2015, by Professors Wolf-Henning Boehncke and Michael P Schon, it was stated that any incidence of psoriasis could develop into erythroderma, which is a life-threatening disease. Management of this condition needs to be taken seriously.
Management of Psoriasis
To manage psoriasis correctly, we must identify the type of psoriasis from which the patient suffers, and consider the location of the disease on the body. Several different types of psoriasis have been identified. They include:
- Plaque Psoriasis: The most common type, affecting 80% of sufferers, who have inflamed, painful, and itching skin patches, usually on the scalp, elbows, and knees.
- Guttate Psoriasis: This afflicts 7% of sufferers, who have small, round red spots, usually on their torso, arms, or legs.
- Inverse Psoriasis: This is the second most common type. Sufferers have red, inflamed skin in the skin folds.
- Pustular Psoriasis: This affects 3% of sufferers who have pustules surrounded by inflamed skin, usually on the hands or feet.
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This affects 2% of sufferers and can be life-threatening. Symptoms include itching, pain, skin shedding, dehydration, and changes in heart rate and body temperature. See a healthcare practitioner when this flares up.
Psoriasis locations vary, depending on the type and severity of the disease. It can be located on the scalp, or in the genital area, for example. Other locations include the back or the fingers. The location of the disease will also determine the treatment plan. There’s no known cure for this condition, although it can go into remission. Certain triggers seem to aggravate the disease in some sufferers. It can help to know the triggers to which a patient responds. These can include factors like stress or the use of certain drugs to treat other conditions.
It’s particularly difficult to find suitable treatments for this condition as there is a wide variety available. Treatments include injected or oral medicines, including steroids and retinoids, among others. Phototherapy is another type of treatment. This means exposing the skin to artificial light for a specified time. There are also topical treatments that involve the use of creams and lotions. These include retinoid in cream form or coal tar products that soothe the skin.
Alternative Psoriasis Treatment
With lots of side effects from mainstream medicine and no cure yet discovered, some patients try alternative therapies. The Indian Ayurvedic medical system claims some success in this area. According to a research paper published in the Indian Journal of Ayurveda on the 16th October 2020, ayurvedic practitioners Drs. GP Nilley, AK Chaudhury, and LN Gupta claim the successful treatment and cure of patients suffering from psoriasis within six months.
Success is also claimed by homeopathic practitioners. Homeopathic medicine is popular in India and the US. According to Dr Rajesh Shah, an India-based homeopath, homeopathy concentrates on healing the immune system. However, the efficacy of these treatments has not been confirmed in reputable scientific trials.
Find the Right Care for You
Find a healthcare professional you trust, whatever medical system you use. Working together, you can keep this disease under control.