Not only does psoriasis affect around 2% of people in the UK, it also impacts the lives of some of our fave celebs such as Kimmy K and Cara D too.
It is a condition which is often misunderstood, yet one that can have a profound emotional impact on sufferers… and given the condition that can be made worse by stress, alcohol and smoking it’s one that can often have an impact on the lives of many students…
In light of World Psoriasis Day (29th October) the skincare specialists at Dermalex have put together an overview of the key facts about the condition in addition to some top tips for its management to support better awareness and understanding of this common skin condition.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic condition of the skin where cells mature too fast, which leads to the build-up of excess, immature cells on the skin’s surface. This appears as red, flaky, crusty and raised patches of skin covered with silvery scales.1 Other classic symptoms include itching, redness, and chronic hardened or dry skin. Psoriasis predominantly appears on the scalp, face, back, elbows, palms, legs, knees, and soles of the feet
Who suffers from psoriasis?
Psoriasis is estimated to affects between 2% and 3% of the UK population – up to 1.8 million people.5 Psoriasis can occur at any age, but often develops in adults under 35 years old. The condition affects men and women equally.
What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis occurs when skin cells are replaced more quickly than usual. It’s not known exactly why this happens, but research suggests it’s caused by a problem with the immune system.
Psoriasis flare up’s can be triggered by a number of factors including things like stress or anxiety, injury to skin, hormonal changes (especially in women), or certain infections or medications.
Psoriasis: The facts
- Psoriasis is commonly thought to be contagious, this this is a myth.
- Psoriasis cannot be cured and is thought to be an inherited condition. However treatment options, like Dermalex Psoriasis, do exist.
- One in three people with psoriasis have a close relative with the condition.
- The condition can be triggered by a wide range of events including a cut to the skin, insect bites, sunburn, stress or smoking.
- Psoriasis is more common in the winter due to cold temperatures, lack of sunlight and dry conditions caused by heated homes and office
- It can have a big psychological impact on patient’s lives. 60% of patients with the condition reported that it causes them serious problems impacting their everyday life.
- Although psoriasis is just a minor irritation for some people, it can also have a significant emotional impact for some sufferers.
The skincare specialists at Dermalex have teamed up with leading GP and cosmetic doctor, Johanna Ward to provide a roundup of top tips for managing psoriasis:
- Get to know your triggers, to help avoid flare ups. This could include alcohol, smoking and stress.
- Avoid scratching, picking and rubbing at the skin e.g. pat your skin dry instead of rubbing.
- Wear cotton clothing, as synthetics might irritate and heat up the skin.
- Avoid long showers or baths and ensure water remains lukewarm. Always use a non-irritating body wash for sensitive skin types.
- Moisturise regularly to minimise dryness and flaking.
- Avoid using bleach, biological washing powder and fabric softener as this may irritate the skin.
- Maintain a nutritious diet and a healthy body weight.
- Minimise stress as stress hormones may lead to an overactive immune system and increase itching.
- While sun exposure may help reduce inflammation in the skin, patients should avoid getting sunburnt.
Dermalex Psoriasis Treatment has a unique Barrier Repair Accelerating Complex that works to activate the skin’s own repair mechanism, which normalises skin cell maturation and restores the skins barrier function to help reduce inflammation often associated with psoriasis and prevents new flare ups. It also relieves symptoms of psoriasis including scaling, itching, red spots and hardened skin. Available in two pack sizes 60g and 150g (RRP £18.99/£29.99*) from pharmacy stores, independent pharmacies and at Lloydspharmacy.com, Boots.com, Superdrug.com, and Amazon.co.uk
Dermalex Scalp Psoriasis Treatment is a non-greasy, steroid and coal-tar free scalp psoriasis treatment for mild to moderate scalp psoriasis. The topical barrier repair gel works to normalise skin cell production and facilitate the skin’s own repair mechanism. Available in a 75g pack size (RRP £18.99*) from pharmacy stores, independent pharmacies and at Lloydspharmacy.com, Boots.com, Superdrug.com, and Amazon.co.uk
Dermalex Psoriasis and Dermalex Scalp Psoriasis are medical devices. Alway read the leaftlet.
*Retail price is at the sole discretion of the retailer
NHS Choices. Psoriasis. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Psoriasis/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Last accessed: September 2016]
Psoriasis Association. About Psoriasis. Available from: https://psoriasis-association.org.uk/pages/view/about-psoriasis. [Last accessed: September 2016]
Web MD. Psoriasis in Fall and Winter: 7 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions [online] Available from: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/psoriasis-fall-winter#1 [Last accessed: September 2016]
Dermalex. What is Psoriasis. Available from: http://www.dermalex.co.uk/psoriasis/what-is-psoriasis/ [Last accessed: September 2016]