World Psoriasis Day
Tuesday 29th October is World Psoriasis Day and has been recognised for more than a decade. Organised by the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA), World Psoriasis Day is all about raising awareness of psoriasis.
Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis affect more than 125 million people across the world. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky patches with silvery scales typically appearing on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back. Psoriasis is a long-lasting (chronic) disease and the severity of the condition varies greatly from person to person. Some only experience minor irritation, but for others, it can majorly affect their quality of life.
What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis is thought to be caused by a problem with the immune system when skin cells are replaced quicker than usual. As a result, cells build up rapidly on the surface of the skin which causes crusty red patches.
Is psoriasis genetic?
Yes, psoriasis runs in the family so if you have a close relative who suffers from this condition, you may be more likely to get psoriasis.
Some people suffering from psoriasis may develop psoriatic arthritis, this is where you experience tenderness, pain and swelling in the joints and connective tissue. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint in the body but more often, the hands, feet, neck, spine and elbows.
If you’re diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, your doctor will refer you to a specialist called a rheumatologist and treated with anti-inflammatory or anti-rheumatic medicines.
There is no cure for psoriasis, but there is a range of topical treatments including creams and systemic treatments as well as phototherapy.
Living with psoriasis
Psoriasis is regarded as a minor irritation for some people, however, for others, it can impact the quality of life. Psoriasis can affect your physical appearance which can lower self-esteem and lead to depression and anxiety.
It’s important to look after yourself and take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing. Self-care includes staying fit, maintaining good physical and mental health and having a care plan to help you manage your treatment to fit into your lifestyle.
Many people with psoriasis have found that getting involved in support groups helps. Support can increase your self-confidence, reduce feelings of isolation and give you practical advice about living with the condition. For more information, visit The Psoriasis Association - www.psoriasis-association.org.uk/
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