Common myths are debunked in this handy guide which will help you in understanding what is psoriasis and how to control it effectively.
If you’re wondering what is psoriasis and how to control it effectively, this guide dispels the most common myths perceived by people, and the effective home treatments you can use to help control and reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.
Psoriasis is defined as a systemic immune-mediated disease that is characterized by skin lesions appearing over the body. Psoriasis literally means “itching condition” in Greek, in that the lesions that appear as plaques, papules and red scaly patches are extremely itchy. Psoriasis is a relapsing and remitting disease so the skin lesions may disappear and return after a period of time. They may also vary in severity – appearing as small patches or covering the body completely.
What causes psoriasis is the body’s immune system mistakenly overproducing new skin cells after misidentifying normal skin cells for pathogens.
Doctors can identify what is psoriasis and how to control it effectively, but the reason why psoriasis occurs is not properly understood. There have been studies that have pointed to genetic reasons for what causes psoriasis which is triggered by environmental factors. The Koebner phenomenon, occurring when the skin is injured and triggering psoriasis is also a reason why some people are susceptible to develop this disease. Aside from this, withdrawal of a systemic corticosteroid and stress are all possible reasons.
To help you identify what is psoriasis and how to control it effectively we have listed the five main types of psoriasis which are experienced by individuals:
There is no available cure for psoriasis, but through various methods and treatments the symptoms that are linked to this disease can be suppressed. Due to the physical manifestation of the disease there are a number of misconceptions that are attached to psoriasis and what psoriasis causes. Here are a few common myths debunked to help in better understanding what is psoriasis and how to control it effectively:
This is absolutely baseless. Psoriasis is a disease of the immune system and has nothing to do with hygiene. A genetic predisposition is to be blamed for this condition, as well as other possible reasons including stress, hormonal changes, and reactions to certain medications that can cause flare-ups. Injury and infections can also be a cause. The disease can disappear and come back later on with absolutely no change made to the hygiene of the person it affects.
False. Psoriasis is not contagious. The very nature of the disease, scaly patches of skin, causes people to jump to conclusions and assume that it could be passed on without having adequate knowledge of the condition. Psoriasis does affect the skin, but there is not a single case where a person that did not have an autoimmune issue ‘caught’ the disease from someone else.
There is no sure-shot way of getting rid of psoriasis, however, there are many different methods that can cause the symptoms to be suppressed for a period of time, and also ways for a person to learn how certain triggers cause it to return. There are topical creams, pills and injections that help keeping psoriasis at bay, as well as light or UV therapy that can be administered by a dermatologist. There are also a few home remedies which are explained further in this guide on what is psoriasis and how to control it effectively.
This disease has symptoms that appear on the skin, but far from being a dermatological issue, it is a serious and chronic autoimmune disease. The skin lesions that appear on the skin are painful and terribly itchy, which when scratched can bleed and get infected. There are also many conditions that are linked to psoriasis, such as psoriatic arthritis. This form of arthritis is characterized by swelling and stiffness in the joints. This can affect 10 to 30 percent of people with psoriasis.
For people that suffer from psoriasis there are a number of ways in which they can decrease the effects of this disease and make everyday life much more comfortable:
Psoriasis is a disease that causes the skin to dry out and turn flaky so it is very important to moisturize the entire body. Use petroleum jelly, as it is seen to be most effective. By moisturizing you will ensure that the dry plaques that form on the body do not inhibit your movement. Moisturizing will result in ease of movement that is not painful.
You might have not heard of this substance, but it is a godsend for treating psoriasis. Capsaicin is found in cayenne peppers and when applied to the skin can reduce pain and itching by blocking the sensory nerves of the body. Aside from that, this substance also gets rid of plaques. There are creams available that contain capsaicin so look for one that contains at least 0.25 to 0.5 of it. Make sure to keep the cream away from the eyes and other sensitive areas because it will cause a burning sensation.
You should now know what is psoriasis and how to control it effectively with moisturiser, but did you know that the national psoriasis foundation has found that vinegar is quite effective in treating psoriasis as well.
Vinegar is a disinfectant, and is also commonly used to treat burns and inflammation. It can be used for plaques by soaking cotton balls in a vinegar dip, and if the psoriasis is under the fingernails then the fingers can be dipped in a bowl of vinegar. Same for the toenails.
By adding Epsom salts, dead sea salt or oil and taking a warm bath you can reduce the burning and itching that is associated with psoriasis, as well as remove loose patches of dry skin. Be sure to only soak in the bath for 15 minutes and apply a moisturizer as soon as you get out because warm water can have the effect of drying out your skin further.
Apply your medication to the skin, or moisturizer and wrap up your skin with plastic wrap. This will ensure that the medication gets properly absorbed into your skin. It will also cover up your sores. Leave the plastic wrap on for an hour after you have applied the medication, letting the medication be absorbed in the skin for a little while before the plastic wrap is used.
Olive oil is very beneficial to someone with psoriasis as applying it to dry, flaky skin and plaques will help lock moisture in. This will reduce the effects of the disease as well as gently remove the bits of skin that are ready to fall off. Use a few tablespoons of olive oil and massage it in. If your scalp is mainly the area that is affected, use a few table spoons the next time you take a shower.
This does not mean that you need to cut perfumes out of your life completely, but just know that certain perfumes and dyes can be rough on your skin. They may even cause flare-ups and symptoms to return. By having an understanding of what is psoriasis and how to control it effectively, you should know that if you must have a perfume, look out for ones that are marked for sensitive skin.
Introducing certain foods in your diet and avoiding others can help in controlling psoriasis. Fish oil is greatly beneficial. Have it as a dietary supplement, or apply it directly to the affected area. Both have been known to help in dealing with this condition. Vitamin D and milk thistle can also be introduced in the diet. Avoid foods like red meat and fatty foods.
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