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Understanding and Managing Psoriasis

Understanding and Managing Psoriasis

It is estimated that around 3% of adults in the United States are affected by psoriasis. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, it equates to more than 7.5 million people. There is currently no cure for the condition, but there are a variety of treatment options to help manage symptoms and enhance quality of life.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that is often characterized by raised plaques and scaly patches of skin. There are several different types of psoriasis, and everyone can be affected differently. The disease causes inflammation not just on the skin, but throughout the body and can lead to psoriatic arthritis.

Normally, the body creates new skin cells and then sheds them around every 30 days. In people with psoriasis, this process occurs every three to four days, causing skin cells to pile up and cause raised plaques and flakey scales. They can occur anywhere on the body but are common on the elbows, knees, face, scalp, and lower back. Psoriasis can also affect the nails creating pitting or discoloration.

It is important to note that, although scientists don’t know exactly what causes psoriasis, they do know that it is not contagious. You cannot catch psoriasis through skin-to-skin contact. It is believed to be caused by a combination of genetics and triggering events that affect the immune system.

What are Triggers for Psoriasis?

Many people experience chronic flare ups of psoriasis symptoms. The triggers can be different for everyone, but some common causes include:

  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Infection
  • Weather
  • Certain medications
  • Sunburn, bug bites, cuts, scratches, or other injuries to the skin

How is Psoriasis Treated?

Treatment can depend on the type of psoriasis, symptoms, and severity. Often topical creams and ointments are used to help moisturize the skin, reduce itch and inflammation, and decrease the buildup of skin cells. There are also medications that may be effective for some people in reducing symptoms.

Lifestyle changes may also be beneficial, such as taking steps to reduce stress, maintain good health, and keep skin moisturized. Avoiding individuals when they are sick can help decrease exposure to viruses and bacteria that can lead to illness or infection. For people with psoriatic arthritis, staying active may help reduce stiffness in the joints as well as lower stress levels.

Treating and managing psoriasis can help reduce inflammation, skin symptoms, and flare ups which can enhance quality of life and boost self-esteem. Seniors can feel more comfortable and confident as they go about their daily activities.

Working with an in-home caregiver in Asheville NC such as Always Best Care can help seniors stay on top of their health through medication reminders, meal planning and preparation, activities to reduce stress and stay active, companionship, support for mobility, and much more. Don’t let psoriasis keep you from living your best life. Contact Always Best Care to schedule a care consultation and learn more about the benefits of senior care services.