August is Psoriasis Awareness Month which, for us in the Southern Hemisphere, falls in winter.
As psoriasis-sufferers will know, this condition can worsen during winter when the days are shorter and the air is colder and dryer.
So what is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is one of the most mysterious and persistent of skin conditions and is very unpredictable as to when the irritation will flare up. It can vary from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to large outbreaks all over the skin. Most types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring up for a few weeks or months, then settling down for a period of time, sometimes clearing up completely.
What causes psoriasis?
The cause of psoriasis isn’t fully known but it is understood that it is hereditary and related to an immune system problem with T cells and other white blood cells. If you suffer from psoriasis, skin cells move up from below the surface and gather on the outer layer before having a chance to develop properly. Normally it takes a month for cells to move to the skin surface but in psoriasis sufferers it can occur in a few days. Approximately one third of people that suffer from psoriasis have a family history of the disease. Psoriasis can affect any part of the skin surface, but most commonly involves the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back.
What can trigger psoriasis?
- Family History (having one or even two parents with the disease significantly increases your chances of being affected).
- Different types of infections such as skin and throat infections.
- Heavy consumption of alcohol.
- Severe sunburn.
- A cut, scrape or bite to the skin.
- A low immune system.
What are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?
- Skin covered in red patches
- Scaling spots on skin
- Skin that appears to be dried or cracked
- Burning or itching sensation on the skin
- Uneven Nails
- Swollen Joints
How is it diagnosed?
If you think that you may be suffering from psoriasis and are experiencing some of the above symptoms it is advised to consult with your doctor. Doctors rely on two methods to diagnose psoriasis – a physical examination and biopsy.
Seaweed and soothing psoriasis
Seaweed is ideal for the treatment of sensitive skin and skin conditions such as rosacea and psoriasis, as it naturally pacifies and heals. VOYA’s advanced facial skincare range for sensitive and normal skin combines the restorative properties of seaweed with carefully selected natural active ingredients to help calm, soothe and desensitise reactive skin. By its very nature, seaweed is suitable for the treatment of sensitive skin and skin conditions such as rosacea and psoriasis, as it naturally soothes and heals. Fucus Serratus seaweed extract is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and is used throughout this range to gently rejuvenate and nourish. This is superior organic skincare for sensitive skin.
Helpful answers to your psoriasis questions
Q: Will my psoriasis go away or will I have to live with it forever?
A: It all depends on the type of psoriasis you have. In some cases it may clear up for years and then reappear. In other cases it can be a chronic long term condition.
Q: How can I manage my psoriasis?
A: Most people who suffer from psoriasis work out a treatment regime with their doctor to keep it under control. You will experience flare-ups of the condition at different times. Stress seems to flare up psoriasis for a lot of people so try to avoid stress whenever possible.
Q: How can I stop itching my psoriasis?
A: The easiest way to control itching in psoriasis is by keeping the skin moisturised. Dry skin can aggravate the itchiness associated with psoriasis
Q: Does diet influence psoriasis?
A: There is no clear link between what you eat and the severity of psoriasis symptoms.
Facts about psoriasis:
- Psoriasis affects both males, females and children.
- It is normal to get psoriasis between the age of 10 and 30, however it can occur from infancy right up to old age.
- You cannot catch psoriasis.
- There are many different types of psoriasis
- There is no actual cure for Psoriasis at the moment but continuous research is being done.