What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis causes red, flaky and crusty patches of skin, covered with silvery scales. Those with the skin condition have an increased production of skin cells. Normally, skin cells are made and replaced every three to four weeks, but in psoriasis, this only takes around three to seven days. The result is a build-up of skin cells, which creates the patches associated with the skin condition. Psoriasis is a long-lasting condition with severity that differs from person to person.
What causes psoriasis?
While no-one fully understands what causes psoriasis, it is thought to be due to a problem with the immune system. The immune system defends the body against disease and infection, but for people with psoriasis, the body accidentally attacks healthy skin cells.
Genes seem to play a part in psoriasis, it runs in families.
What triggers psoriasis?
Many people's symptoms start or get worse because of certain triggers, knowing these may help you avoid a flare-up. Common triggers include;
- An injury to your skin
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- Hormonal changes
- Certain medicines that include lithium, anti-malarial medicines, anti-inflammatory medicines
How can I treat psoriasis?
There is no cure for psoriasis, however there are a range of treatments which can improve symptoms and the appearance of skin. These include Vitamin D packed topical skincare, phototherapy UV light treatment and oral medication.