Psoriasis treatments can reduce the complaints of this skin disease. Psoriasis is often treated locally, for example by applying a cream or ointment. The highly experienced dermatologists at Medical Centre Jan van Goyen are here for you to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis as much as possible. You can count on our personal approach and a treatment based on your personal care needs.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis has many different symptoms. The symptoms of psoriasis are similar to those of eczema. The visible characteristics of the skin disease do not necessarily appear simultaneously. Some of the symptoms of psoriasis are:
- Flaking of the skin
- Nail abnormalities
The treatment methods
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease which, unfortunately, cannot be cured. Nevertheless, medication, light therapy, or systemic treatment may be able to alleviate the symptoms The most suitable type of treatment in your situation depends on the severity of the psoriasis and its spreading.
PSORIASIS TREATMENT WITH MEDICATION
There are various types of medication, creams or ointments, that can alleviate or subdue the complaints when they are applied on the psoriasis areas. When the psoriasis is under the hairline, you can use a shampoo that contains the necessary effective ingredients.
There are various products for the treatment of psoriasis. A commonly used combination is Vitamin D3 derivatives and corticosteroids. This product must be applied on the psoriasis areas twice a day. Both ingredients have an alleviating effect and significantly reduce the itching and pain even though the areas will still be visible as they have a light-red colour.
SYSTEMIC TREATMENT: ORALLY
In extremely severe cases of psoriasis, the physician can opt for a systemic approach that treats the entire body. These methods are only used in very severe cases because the used substances can cause serious adverse effects.
Medication such as Methotrexate gives good results, but it can give adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and a disturbed production of red and white blood cells. The same applies to Ciclosporin. It is an effective medication but it sometimes causes high blood pressure.
LIGHT THERAPY TREATMENT WITH PSORIASIS
People suffering from psoriasis benefit from sunlight as it has a natural positive effect on the skin. To stimulate this effect, the affected areas are exposed to UV radiation.
UVB is the standard form of light therapy used with psoriasis treatment. With UVB therapy, the ultraviolet B radiation is used to irradiate the areas affected by psoriasis, thereby stimulating the healing effect of sunlight. For a good result, 25 to 30 treatments are required which will be administered three times a week.
In addition to UVB, there is the so-called PUVA therapy. With PUVA therapy, ultraviolet A radiation is combined with psoralen. The psoralen make the skin extra sensitive to the absorption of UV radiation, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the treatment. The advantage is that only 12 to 20 treatments will be necessary. PUVA can only be safely used for short treatment periods as a prolonged treatment would increase the risk of skin cancer.
Scalp psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that is located on the scalp; the affected areas are concentrated on the scalp, mainly along the hairline.
With inverse psoriasis, the affected areas are concentrated mainly in skin folds or creases, such as the armpits, groin, and between the buttocks.
Nail psoriasis affects the nails on the fingers and toes. This often occurs in combination with other types of psoriasis.
This type of psoriasis gives pus-filled blisters on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. These blisters can disappear spontaneously or become regular psoriasis.
Psoriasis vulgaris, or plaque psoriasis, is the most common form of psoriasis. This type can be recognised through the large, red spots on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.
Guttate psoriasis develops in small spots spread across the arms, legs, and torso. These spots only last for a few weeks.
With erythrodermic psoriasis, the skin is completely covered with psoriasis spots. It is a very critical, but rare type of psoriasis.
These skin disorders are combined with pain and complaints in the joints.
What is psoriasis?
There are different types of psoriasis. The common denominator is an accelerated division of skin cells in the epidermis but these cells do not ripen. This causes a disturbance in the natural exfoliation of skin cells and the affected areas show an increased exfoliation of the skin. Instead of the usual 26 days in which the skin renews itself, this process takes place within one week when someone suffers from psoriasis.
The severity and occurrence of psoriasis fluctuate. There are periods that the patient has no or hardly any complaints, and there are periods that the disease exacerbates. Psoriasis is not contagious. In the Netherlands, there are around 350,000 people who suffer from psoriasis. The exact cause is, however, not yet clear. One thing we do know is that hereditary factors have a large influence on the chance of someone getting psoriasis. When a parent suffers from psoriasis, the child has a 10% chance of contracting the skin disease as well. When both parents have psoriasis, the chance of the child contracting psoriasis is even 50%.
Causes of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is considered to be an autoimmune disease, which means that your own immune system produces antibodies which, in turn, attack your body. The causes of psoriasis can include:
- Too fast skin renewal due to rapid cell division
- Environmental factors such as smoking or alcohol consumption
- Medical complaints such as strep throat
- Psychological factors such as tension or stress
- The use of certain medications
- Skin injury from an accident, abrasion or tattoo
If you have any questions about the causes of psoriasis, please contact us.
Tips for psoriasis
The visibility of psoriasis can cause many discomforts and the accompanying itching is very unpleasant and disturbing. Despite the various treatments, psoriasis can never be entirely cured. There are, however, a few tips that can offer some alleviation when living with psoriasis.
- Avoid long showers and refrain from taking hot showers. Hot water can dehydrate the skin even more and aggravate the psoriasis.
- Try to wear cotton clothing whenever possible. Synthetic fabrics can cause your skin to overheat, which will irritate the skin even more.
- Do not use a foundation cream. You may want to camouflage the psoriasis with a foundation cream, but we advise against this. Especially when the spots are open, such cosmetic products can aggravate the psoriasis. When you really want to use a foundation, we advise you to use a liquid one as these are the least dehydrating.
- Find sufficient moments of relaxation. Stress makes the psoriasis complaints worse. This is why it is important to destress and relax.