How Many People Have Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a fairly common skin condition and is estimated to affect approximately 1%-3% of the U.S. population. It currently affects roughly 7.5 million to 8.5 million people in the U.S. It is seen worldwide in about 125 million people. Interestingly, African Americans have about half the rate of psoriasis as Caucasians.
Risk Factors And Etiology
Approximately one-third of patients with psoriasis have a first-degree relative with the condition. Research suggests a multifactorial mode of inheritance.2,3 Many stressful physiologic and psychological events and environmental factors are associated with the onset and worsening of the condition. Direct skin trauma can trigger psoriasis . Streptococcal throat infection may also trigger the condition or exacerbate existing psoriasis. Human immunodeficiency virus infection has not been shown to trigger psoriasis, but can exacerbate existing disease. As the infection progresses, psoriasis often worsens.1
Smoking increases the risk of psoriasis and its severity.1,4 Obesity and alcohol use and abuse are also associated with psoriasis.4,5 These associations may not be causative patients with psoriasis may be more susceptible to unhealthy behaviors.4
Complementary And Alternative Treatments
Youll find plenty of these for treating psoriasis. The US Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate these products. As such, few of these treatments have been studied. Those that have been studied were tested on small numbers of people, so we dont know how well these treatments work. We also dont know whether theyre safe.
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How To Prevent And Treat Your Stress To Cure Psoriasis
There are many ways to prevent and treat stress. Some people may find those different methods work for them, but these are some general tips that can help:
1) Identify healthy coping mechanisms and stick to them. This could involve things like exercise, journaling, or deep breathing exercises.
2) Avoid any type of self-judgement. Accepting that everyone has stress and its normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes can be helpful.
3) Try to maintain a positive outlook and practice gratitude. Focusing on the good things in life can help to offset negative thoughts.
4) Seek professional help if the stress is becoming too much to handle on your own. There is no shame in seeking help, and a professional. can provide you with the tools you need to manage your stress.
If you are struggling with psoriasis and stress, it is important to seek help. There are many resources available to you, and a professional can help you find the best way to manage both conditions. Stress can make psoriasis worse, so it is important to take the time to reduce the stressors in your life.
Tablets Capsules And Injections
If your psoriasis is severe or other treatments have not worked, you may be prescribed systemic treatments by a specialist. Systemic treatments work throughout the entire body.
These medications can be very effective in treating psoriasis, but they all have potentially serious side effects. All the systemic treatments for psoriasis have benefits and risks. Before starting treatment, talk to your doctor about your treatment options and any risks associated with them.
If you’re planning for a baby, become pregnant or are thinking of breastfeeding, you should also speak to your doctor first before taking any new medicine to check it’s suitable for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
There are 2 main types of systemic treatment, called non-biological and biological .
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Steroid Creams Or Ointments
Steroid creams or ointments are commonly used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis in most areas of the body. The treatment works by reducing inflammation. This slows the production of skin cells and reduces itching.
Topical corticosteroids range in strength from mild to very strong. Only use them when recommended by your doctor.
Stronger topical corticosteroids can be prescribed by your doctor and should only be used on small areas of skin or on particularly thick patches. Overusing topical corticosteroids can lead to skin thinning.
Is It Scalp Psoriasis Or Dandruff
More than half of all psoriasis patients have scalp psoriasis, according to the NPF. Itchy plaques can extend beyond the hairline onto the forehead, neck, and around the ears.
“Most people with scalp psoriasis have it on other parts of their body as well,” says Dina D. Strachan, MD, a dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.
Scalp psoriasis is sometimes confused with seborrheic dermatitis, or dandruff. According to Dr. Strachan, dandruff which causes a flaky, itchy scalp without signs of inflammation tends to itch more than scalp psoriasis. It has a greasy-appearing yellow scale, Strachan says. In contrast, psoriasis whether it’s on your scalp or any other body part tends to have a thick, silvery scale.”
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Psoriasis Is Chronic But Controllable
There are things people with psoriasis can do to help control symptoms and prevent relapses. However, this condition can also lead to complications.
More Than Skin Troubles
A 2017 study from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that people with psoriasis that covers 10% of their body or more are 64% more likely than those without psoriasis to develop type 2 diabetes. “About 30% of people with psoriasis also might develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes destructive inflammation in your joints,” says dermatologist Dr. Gideon Smith. Psoriasis also may signal a higher risk for fatty liver disease and heart attacks.
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Psoralen Plus Ultraviolet A
For this treatment, you’ll first be given a tablet containing compounds called psoralens, or psoralen may be applied directly to the skin. This makes your skin more sensitive to light.
Your skin is then exposed to a wavelength of light called ultraviolet A . This light penetrates your skin more deeply than ultraviolet B light.
This treatment may be used if you have severe psoriasis that has not responded to other treatment.
Side effects include nausea, headaches, burning and itchiness. You may need to wear special glasses for 24 hours after taking the tablet to prevent the development of cataracts.
Long-term use of this treatment is not encouraged, as it can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
When Should I See A Doctor For Psoriasis
Since psoriasis is a systemic disease of inflammation with dramatic skin involvement, most people should seek medical advice early in its course when symptoms and signs appear. Besides arthritis, people with the condition are more likely to be obese and to have coronary artery disease and/or diabetes. Psoriasis, if limited to small areas of skin, may be an inconvenience for some people. For others, it may be disabling.
- Those with psoriasis commonly recognize that new areas of psoriasis occur within seven to 10 days after the skin has been injured. This has been called the Koebner phenomenon.
- People should always see a doctor if they have psoriasis and develop significant joint pain, stiffness, or deformity. They may be in the reported 5%-10% of individuals with psoriasis who develop psoriatic arthritis and would be a candidate for systemic therapy. Psoriatic arthritis can be crippling and cause permanent deformity.
- Always see a doctor if signs of infection develop. Common signs of infection are red streaks or pus from the red areas, fever with no other cause, or increased pain.
- People need to see a doctor if they have serious side effects from their medications.
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Dermatology Life Quality Index
For this reason, doctors a Dermatology Life Quality Index questionnaire to assess the impact of symptoms on a persons quality of life. Symptoms that look mild to others can have a severe impact on mental health and daily functioning.
Doctors may also factor in the results of a questionnaire on coping strategies.
A doctor may recommend a treatment alone or alongside a drug or another topical option.
Many topical treatments can have adverse effects, such as burning or irritation. Some treatments increase susceptibility to UV light. People should check with a medical professional before using any product.
Psoriasis Can Cause Arthritis
For an unknown reason, psoriasis can cause a form of arthritis known as psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms include:
- discomfort, throbbing or swelling in one or many joints
- tenderness in any joint
- pain caused by inflammation in the joints, which stimulates nerve endings.
- The joints most likely to be affected are the last joint in the fingers or toes, the sacrum , wrists, knees or ankles.
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Psoriasis Area And Severity Index
The psoriasis area and severity index measures both the extent and severity of symptoms. It takes into account the intensity of thickness and scaling, giving scores of none , mild , moderate , severe , or very severe .
There is a tool for individuals to use for an approximate PASI score. However, this tool does not guarantee accuracy, and people should contact a doctor if they have concerns about psoriasis symptoms.
PASI also measures redness, but it is important to note that not all skin affected by psoriasis becomes red.
For example, for people with dark skin tones, their skin may become darker or take on a purplish hue. Also, people with brown skin may develop coral-colored patches of skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
People with dark skin have often had difficulty getting an accurate diagnosis of psoriasis. One reason for this is that changes may be easier to identify in light skin. However, diagnostic tools that only refer to how changes affect white skin may also have played a role.
Therefore, determining the presence of inflammation may be a better strategy than determining skin color changes when identifying the type of psoriasis for all skin types.
What Is Cdc Doing About Psoriasis
In 2010, CDC worked with experts in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and public health to develop a public health perspective that considers how these conditions affect the entire population. The resulting report is Developing and Addressing the Public Health Agenda for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis pdf icon. You can read a short article about the agendaexternal icon in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
CDCs National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey , an intermittent source of national psoriasis data, has included questions about psoriasis as late as the 2013-2014 cycle. A recent analysis of NHANES data estimates that 7.4 million adults had psoriasis in 2013external icon.
- Psoriasis causes patches of thick red skin and silvery scales. Patches are typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of feet, but can affect other places . The most common type of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis.
- Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that eventually occurs in 10% to 20% of people with psoriasis. It is different from more common types of arthritis and is thought to be related to the underlying problem of psoriasis.
- Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are sometimes considered together as psoriatic disease.
Who is at risk for psoriasis?
Anyone can get psoriasis. It occurs mostly in adults, but children can also get it. Men and women seem to have equal risk.
Can I get psoriasis from someone who has it?
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What Is Scalp Psoriasis And What Causes It
Psoriasis can appear on any part of the skin, even the scalp. With scalp psoriasis, scalp plaques produce excess scales and can cause your scalp to itch.
Symptoms of scalp psoriasis appear as the following:
- A small bump, called a papule, with a scale on top.
- The plaque typically is covered by thick layers of horny scale. When the scale sheds, it can look like dandruff.
- Sometimes these plaques can itch.
- Scratching these plaques can worsen the condition and lead to what’s called the Koebner phenomenon, or isomorphic response, which can cause psoriasis to develop in areas where there’s inflammation and trauma.
The causes of scalp psoriasis, like all psoriasis, is related to genetic defects that affect the immune system. It is not known if stress causes or makes psoriasis worse.
In some severe cases, scalp psoriasis can cause alopecia, or a loss of hair, which is rare and may be controlled with treatment. Scalp psoriasis can be treated with topical medications, which can sometimes be difficult to apply when the scalp is covered with enough hair that can create a barrier.
What Type Of Psoriasis Treatment Will I Need
Several treatment options can relieve psoriasis. Creams or ointments may be enough to improve the rash in small areas of skin. If the rash affects larger areas, or you also have joint pain, you may need other treatments. Joint pain may be a sign that you have arthritis.
Your provider will decide on a treatment plan based on:
- Severity of the rash.
- Vitamin A or retinoid creams.
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Topical Treatments For Psoriasis
These are drugs you rub directly on your skin. Along with a good moisturizer, theyâre usually the first thing your doctor will suggest, especially for mild to moderate psoriasis. There are over-the-counter and prescription options.
Topical treatments for psoriasis come as ointments, creams, or foam and include:
Steroid creams. These slow down immune cells in your skin. They can ease swelling and redness. Mild steroid creams are available over the counter. Youâll need a prescription from your doctor for something stronger. Steroids come with side effects and shouldnât be used on sensitive areas like your face or genitals. They can burn or thin the skin. Use them exactly the way your doctor tells you.
Salicylic acid. This can soften and thin scaly skin. But it can also irritate your skin if you leave it on too long. It might weaken your hair follicles and cause temporary hair loss, too. The body can absorb salicylic acid if you put it on large patches of skin.
Calcipotriol . This is a strong form of synthetic vitamin D. Itâs known to control overactive skin cells. Your doctor might pair it with a steroid cream.
Tazorac is available gel or cream and applied one and twice daily. it is ot recommended for those who are pregnant or breast-feeding or intending to become pregnant.
Clinical Trials For Psoriasis
Before a new treatment can be registered in Australia it must undergo extensive testing. Clinical trials are used to determine the safety and effectiveness of new treatments for psoriasis. The regulations governing clinical trials in Australia make the process as safe as possible for clinical trial participants. People with psoriasis may consider volunteering to participate in a clinical trial. Participation provides volunteers with access to cutting edge treatments that are not otherwise available. General information about being part of a clinical trial can be found here. Internationally, ClinicalTrials.gov provides patients, their family members, and the public with easy and free access to information on clinical studies for a wide range of diseases and conditions. If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, talk to your doctor.
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Treatment Of Associated Conditions
Health conditions associated with psoriasis include psoriatic arthritis, sleep disturbance, and depression. Treatment for these may help skin disease.
Due to the association between psoriasis and metabolic syndrome, weight loss, smokingcessation, moderation of alcohol intake, and blood pressure control may also lead to improvements in skin disease .
Treatments For Psoriatic Disease
Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis treatments arenât one-size-fits-all, and thatâs a good thing. It means that you can work with your health care provider to find the right psoriasis treatment â or combination of psoriasis treatments â for you that reduces or eliminates your symptoms. Staying up-to-date with whatâs new and what your options are when it comes to treatment can help. ÂÂÂÂÂ
PsA can affect one in three patients with psoriasis. But treatments for it are available and can help relieve pain, reduce swelling, help keep joints working properly, and possibly prevent further joint damage. Your health care provider will recommend treatments based on the type of PsA, its severity, and your reaction to treatment.
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Are There Alternative Therapies For Psoriasis
Conventional therapy is one that has been tested with clinical trials or has other evidence of clinical effectiveness. The FDA has approved several drugs for the treatment of psoriasis as described above. Some patients look to alternative therapy, diet changes, supplements, or stress-reducing techniques to help reduce symptoms. For the most part, alternative therapies have not been tested with clinical trials, and the FDA has not approved dietary supplements for the treatment of psoriasis. There are no specific foods to eat or to avoid for patients with psoriasis. However, some other therapies can be found on the National Psoriasis Foundation website. Individuals should check with their doctors before starting any therapy.
Are Psoriasis Shampoos Available
Coal tar shampoos are very useful in controlling psoriasis of the scalp. Using the shampoo daily can be very beneficial adjunctive therapy. There are a variety of over-the-counter shampoos available without a prescription. There is no evidence that one shampoo is superior to another. Generally, the selection of a tar shampoo is simply a matter of personal preference.
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