NHS Nene CCG are supporting psoriasis awareness month this August dedicated to raising knowledge and educating the public about the skin condition.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. These patches normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body.
Most people are only affected with small patches. In some cases, the patches can be itchy or sore. It is non-contagious, unique to each patient and affects almost two million people in the UK.
Despite being such a common skin condition, it is poorly understood by the general public and, often, by people who have it. Psoriasis is a condition that, with the right advice and information can be managed.
Treatment can include self-care; staying fit and maintaining good physical and mental health as well as the following:
Treatments fall into three categories:
• topical – creams and ointments that are applied to your skin
• phototherapy – your skin is exposed to certain types of ultraviolet light
• systemic – oral and injected medications that work throughout the entire body
Quite often psoriasis symptoms start or become worse because of a certain event or trigger. Possible triggers psoriasis can include an injury to your skin, throat infections and using certain medicines. Although it is just a minor irritation for some people, it can have a significant impact on quality of life for those more severely affected.
It's also quite common to develop tenderness, pain and swelling in the joints and connective tissue. This is known as psoriatic arthritis. Speak to your GP if you have or think you may have psoriasis and they can offer advice and further treatment if necessary.
There are also support groups for people with psoriasis, such as The Psoriasis Association, where you can speak to other people with the condition.