Managing Psoriasis

    Man inspecting face in mirror(BlackDoctor.org) — Psoriasis is a noncontagious skin ailment categorized as mild, moderate or severe, depending on the percentage of affliction on the body. It affects both males and females, and can manifest at any age. However, it is more frequently seen to affect those between ages 15 and 25. It is one of the oldest known ailments affecting mankind and continues to be a medical challenge, as it cannot be cured completely and demands lifelong therapy for effective management.

    The symptoms of psoriasis differ from one person to another but usually include:

    • Red skin patches with silvery scales
    • Small, scaling spots
    • Dry, cracked skin
    • Itching, burning and soreness
    • Thickened, pitted/ridged nails
    • Swollen, stiff joints

    Other likely symptoms are:

    • Genital lesions (in males)
    • Joint pain or ache (psoriatic arthritis)
    • Nail alterations (including yellow-brown spots, dents on the nail surface and dislocation of the nail from the base. Psoriasis may also cause psoriatic arthritis (inflammation of the joints).

    Current treatments available

    Psoriasis can be managed with a multitude of treatments. But, what works for one patient may have no effect upon another. These include local treatments with emollients (a liquid or cream used to render the skin soft), cortisone cream, as well as systemic treatments like cyclosporine and acitretin.

    During the preliminary stages of this ailment, topical treatments with medicated ointments or creams may be used. In more severe or advanced cases, treatments like UVA light therapy, Psoralen plus UVA light, retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) like Accutane, Soriatane, etc. may be required.

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