Living with Psoriasis

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a skin condition characterised by sharply defined, red patches of skin which soon become covered with dry, silvery scales9. Psoriasis usually affects the knees, elbows, scalp and back, but any part of the skin or nails can be involved.

Psoriasis is not contagious but does have the tendency to recur and flare throughout a person’s lifetime. However, with treatment, psoriasis can be controlled. (25)

Who gets psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common, chronic condition that affects about 2% of the UK population9. People of all ages can suffer from psoriasis.

What causes psoriasis?

Normal skin cells multiply, grow and shed over about a four-week period. In psoriasis, this process is abnormally rapid, occurring every 3–7 days. This results in thick and scaly skin (26).

As well as being triggered by certain genes or environmental factors, psoriasis sufferers may notice flare-ups during different periods of their lives, including if they smoke or drink too much, experience high levels of stress, or are going through puberty or menopause (26).

How to manage psoriasis?

Your doctor will choose an appropriate treatment for psoriasis depending on its type and severity, where it appears on your body and your age. Moisturisers, ultraviolet light therapy and systemic medications may all help in managing your condition. There is no cure for psoriasis, but regular application of high-quality skin moisturisers may help to manage the dry, itchy skin associated with the condition.

Used regularly, moisturisers can help to improve the appearance of your skin; soften rough patches, making them less likely to crack, and relieve the itchy sensation. Cleanse with a soap-free, gentle cleanser such as QV Gentle Wash or use an emollient bath oil such as QV Bath Oil. Moisturise with a cream or lotion designed for sensitive skin, such as QV Cream or QV Skin Lotion or, if this doesn’t provide enough relief, try a water-free ointment such as QV Intensive Ointment.

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