One million South Africans face the daily trauma of psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that can have devastating effects. Psoriasis is a lifelong condition that develops when the skin cells multiply faster than normal, causing inflammation and leading to the build-up of skin cells, showing red patches, covered in white scales on the skin.
Dermatologists can diagnose psoriasis in children and adults, men and women, and cases vary from mild to severe.
Patients with the condition may notice their psoriasis go through cycles of inflammation months at a time, subside, and then reappear again. Psoriasis flare-ups can be triggered by several factors including infection, stress, injury to the skin, and medication.
PSORIASIS AND MENTAL HEALTH
Living with psoriasis is more than skin deep, mental health conditions, such as low self-esteem and depression can develop. Over the course of their lives patients’ psoriasis can affect their self-esteem. Their shame may result in patients isolating themselves, which can eventually lead to depression.
PSORIASIS AFFECTS MORE THAN THE SKIN
Many patients with psoriasis are at a greater risk of diabetes and cholesterol. They’re also at risk of psoriatic arthritis, which affects at least one in three people already living with the condition, causing swelling, stiffness, and pain in the joints. Patients who show symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may experience inflamed joints making it difficult to use their hands properly. This can make everyday tasks like brushing teeth, opening doors and making the bed extremely challenging and painful.
BREAKTHROUGH TREATMENT CAN ACHIEVE CLEAR SKIN
Although rarely life-threatening, psoriasis can dramatically affect a person’s life. And, while scientists have yet to develop a cure for psoriasis, fortunately, treatment is available for this life-changing disease. Effective and breakthrough treatment can reduce the symptoms, and slow skin cells’ growth, relieving the itch.
Depending on the severity of a psoriasis diagnosis, treatment options include:
- Creams or moisturisers to treat the dry skin
- UV light therapy, which slows the growth of skin cells
- Taken orally, systemic medications are prescribed to patients who don’t respond to, or are unable to take topical medications or UV light therapy. This treatment works throughout the body.
- Biologics are new treatments for psoriasis and block specific cells and proteins, controlling the inflammation, and some make clear skin a possibility.
Patients living with psoriasis can access breakthrough treatment to relieve them of the pain and discomfort of this condition. In fact, achieving clear skin for long periods with effective treatment is possible.