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Skin Disease: Psoriasis 101..Are you at risk?

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Psoriasis is a common chronic skin disease that affects the cycle of a person's skin cells resulting in itchy, scaly and red patches, mostly appearing on their knees, elbows, hands, lower feet and back.  Psoriasis lasts for long periods of time, however, many people may have long moments where their condition improves, but after that period this skin disease can come back with a vengeance. Psoriasis can range from mild to moderate to severe. Some individuals may find this disease to be a small nuisance, while others are affected to the point  their psoriasis can ruin their self-confidence. 

Experts believe that the cause of Psoriasis is an overactive immune system. Researchers also believe that Psoriasis may be genetically passed down from parent to child. Flare ups can often worsen depending on the weather, stress level, dry skin or certain medications. Smoking increases these risks, especially for women. It is important for people to know that this condition is NOT contagious. There are several symptoms to look for if you believe that you may be affected by Psoriasis. For example, the skin can become very inflamed, itchy and scaly. The skin may also develop rashes and patches that often join together covering large areas of the body.

Although Psoriasis affects the skin for most people, it can come in the form of arthritis known as "Psoriasis Arthritis." (SEE BELOW)  An individual who experiences this form will often have severe pain in their joints and their nails may change colors, separating from the nail bed. In order to determine if you or someone you love is suffering from Psoriasis, it is important to follow up with your local dermatologist. He or she will go over your medical history and will analyze the areas of your skin. They will also probably run a KOH test. This will rule out any possibility that the skin does not have a fungal infection.  

Currently there is no known cure. However, a person who is suffering from this disease can do several things to improve their current situation. Some of the lifestyle changes included the following:

  • Keeping the skin very moist with creams and lotions.
  • Avoid overexposure to sun.
  • Avoid irritating the skin by scratching, cuts or insect bites. 
  • Be aware of the bacterial or viral infections that can worsen this disease.
    • Strep throat and Upper Respiratory infections.
  • Peel off the crust of the Psoriasis by using lotion.
  • Prescription medication.    
  • Over the counter medication like Aloe Vera/ Argon Oil.

These are just a few of many different things that can be put into practice if a person develops Psoriasis. Most of the time a person will have to go through a series of testing different products and techniques to determine what works best for them. Always ensure that you speak with your local Dermatologist to optimize your quality of life with Psoriasis. 


Psoriasis 101 



68 "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people.69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David 70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), (Luke 1:68-70)."