Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people around the world. It can be quite distressing for all those who are suffering from it.
Environmental factors, immune system and genetic predisposition are just some of the psoriasis causes. One of the most common psoriasis symptoms is little dry patches of skin, and in some cases the entire body may be affected. It’s a painful skin disorder that may also cause continuous itching, which leads to bleeding. The real cause of psoriasis is still unknown, but several ointments, lotions and medicines are available to reduce psoriasis symptoms. (1)
Psoriasis occurs mainly due to the rapid reproduction of skin cells. One of the most common symptoms of this disease are red, dry patches on the skin. It might occur on the knees, elbow, or on the scalp. Constant rubbing and scratching can cause flare-ups leading to psoriasis. Red rashes due to continuous itching are visible on elbows, ankles, wrists, back of the neck, and scalp. (1)
Psoriasis consists of two types: Pustular and non-pustular. Pustular psoriasis occurs as pustules fill up with pus, which is not infectious. Due to these pustules, the under skin becomes inflamed. The treatment includes oral medicine and topical creams. Sometimes patients can also be treated with salt water. Salt water baths or epsom salt baths are very helpful for some patients. Non-pustular psoriasis is quite deadly and more than 87 percent people suffer from this type of psoriasis. It is also known as psoriasis vulgaris or plaque psoriasis. The plaque will appear as an inflammation on the skin, slightly raised and covered with scaly, silver skin. It is often accompanied by itching, swelling and intense pain. (2)
Many people also suffer from scalp psoriasis that is triggered by abrasions, cuts, sunburn or scratches. Mostly, the flare-ups occur during winter when skin becomes dry and flaky due to the natural sunlight. The patches are mostly seen on the backside of the head, but are also visible on other areas of the scalp. (3)
Different types of psoriasis treatments are available on the market. It is also treated using exposure to photography treatment or UV rays. In photography treatment, skin is exposed to a powerful UVB light source for a set time period. It slows down the abnormal growth of skin cells associated with this disease. Systematic prescription medicines are also helpful in the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. (4)
There are several topical lotions and creams for treating mild psoriasis. They are applied several times a day, but are not advised to be used on a long-term basis. Another effective treatment is to inject steroids directly into the affected areas. Various biological drugs made using animal or living human protein also help in removing various types of immune system cells that cause this disease. (5)
Continual treatment can help in reducing itching and patients can take control of the irritated and inflamed skin. Many lotions and moisturizers have shown encouraging results in controlling the flaking and scaling of skin. They also make the skin soft and smooth, which is a bonus. However, if you are suffering from this disease, you should consult with your doctor for proper treatment according to your skin condition and the extent of the disease.
Treatment with topical corticosteroids (5)
Corticosteroids (sometimes simply referred to as “steroids”) reduce inflammation and slow the rapid production of skin cells. They are applied to the skin in the form of a cream, solution, ointment or – for the treatment of psoriasis on the scalp – a foam or shampoo.
There are big differences between corticosteroids in terms of the strength of their effect (their potency). In Germany and other countries they are divided up into four groups based on their potency:
- Low-potency corticosteroids (class I)
- Moderate-potency corticosteroids (class II)
- High-potency corticosteroids (class III)
- Ultra-high-potency corticosteroids (class IV)
(1) – https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis
(2) – https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/types/pustular
(3) – https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/ss/slideshow-scalp-psoriasis-tips
(4) – https://health.usnews.com/conditions/skin-disease/psoriasis/articles/light-therapy-for-psoriasis
(5) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK435705/