Are unexplained red raw patches of skin appearing on your body? TheSite unravels the mystery.
What is it?
To keep things supple, our skin is constantly growing new cells while shedding worn-out ones. With psoriasis, the turnover appears to accelerate. As a result, skin cells are shed before fresh ones have had a chance to develop underneath. This leaves the skin feeling raw, giving rise to red patches with silvery scales.
- 2% of the population may be living with psoriasis.
- It is thought to be a genetic disorder, and can appear at any age, but the 16 to 22 age group is particularly a common time of onset.
- The condition varies in intensity, and is often triggered by stress, throat infections or certain forms of medication.
- Most commonly affected areas include the scalp, knees, elbows, back and genital region.
- Psoriasis is not contagious.
- Treatment is available by prescription, and aims to slow down the shedding process. It can include UV light treatment, coal tar preparations, or Dithranol and special vitamin preparations. Extreme cases may need tablets and steroid preparations.
- Special moisturising creams help soothe discomfort. There are also scalp treatments available.
- As yet there is no cure, but all degrees of psoriasis can be controlled, and one third of all sufferers seem to eventually 'grow out of it'.
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