Let's talk PSORIASIS ft. Dr Pang

Let's talk PSORIASIS ft. Dr Pang

WHAT IS PSORIASIS?

Psoriasis comes in various forms. The commonest type is called chronic plaque psoriasis, a common lifelong skin condition with red scaly areas of skin. It usually develops in young adults. Sometimes the nails and joints may be affected as well.

WHY YOU MAY SUFFER FROM IT?

We don’t know for sure what causes psoriasis. Genetics is likely a contributing factor, as the majority (35-90% in different studies) of patients with psoriasis also have family members affected by psoriasis. An overactive immune system, especially the T-lymphocytes (a type of immune) cell, also likely contributes to psoriasis. Furthermore, certain drugs have been shown to make psoriasis worse. Examples of such drugs include lithium, interferon, hydroxychloroquine and TNFa antagonists (which ironically, is also a treatment for severe psoriasis). Other contributors of psoriasis include trauma, stress, HIV infection, obesity, smoking, and upper respiratory tract infections.

HOW CAN WE REDUCE OR ELIMINATE THE CONDITION?

  • Living a healthy life (reducing smoking, avoid alcohol), and reducing stress may help with psoriasis.
  • For mild psoriasis, use creams containing steroids, vitamin D, retinoids or tar.
  • For extensive psoriasis, light therapy can be helpful, as are oral tablets such as methotrexate, cyclosporine, acitretin. Biologics (infusions or injections) are expensive but very effective treatments prescribed by dermatologists and reimbursed by the government for extensive psoriasis failing to improve with topical and oral treatments.
  • Oral treatments for psoriasis should only be prescribed by an experienced medical doctor or dermatologist.
  • Certain treatments, for example, methotrexate and acitretin are strictly contraindicated in females who may fall pregnant.

TOP TIP ON WHAT NOT TO DO OR CONSUME?

It is important to timely seek treatment, and not to withdraw from social contact because of psoriasis, as that can make you more stressed or depressed. If your psoriasis is itchy, try NOT to scratch it as scratching the skin can cause trauma causes new psoriasis lesions to appear.

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