Facts your never knew about Psoriasis

Psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by red inflammation of the skin, affects about 3 percent of the world’s population. Once diagnosed by the doctor, you may be recommended topical creams for Psoriasis treatment, light therapy or systematic medications. However, there are many precautions you can take or do home remedies to ease the discomfort and severity of the skin condition.

One of the main triggers for Psoriasis is dry skin. Start by moisturising your skin with a good cream for Psoriasis, recommended by your medical practitioner. In the meantime, discontinue use of soaps, perfumes and any other fragrant creams that may irritate your sensitive skin. You could also install a humidifier in your home to keep the air moist.

Although Psoriasis manifests itself on the exterior, the problems begin inside the body. Supplement your body with nutrients like vitamin D, fish oil, aloe Vera and so on. But before you take any dietary supplements, check with your doctor. It may also help to alter your daily diet by eliminating red meat, sugar, caffeine and fatty foods. Instead, consume foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation. You could also add turmeric to your food to minimise flare-ups. Remember to reduce or completely stop alcohol consumption and smoking.

Get a little bit of sunlight every day. While this is something you should consult your doctor about, as too much sun can have inverse effects; a good amount of sun rays can be beneficial.

While taking bath, avoid hot water. Instead, prepare a lukewarm soak with Epsom salt, olive oil or milk to soothe the itching; and moisturise soon after bath.

Finally, take care of your mental health. Cutting down stress with counselling, meditation, yoga or other recreational activities will help keep flare-ups in check.

The psychological side of Psoriasis

A majority of people dismiss Psoriasis as an unsightly skin condition. However, those who suffer from this medical condition are aware of the psychological impact it has on their lives.

The International Federation of Psoriasis Association (IFPA) has revealed that about 3% of global population has some form of Psoriasis. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that around 7.5 million Americans are affected by the condition.

Identified by red inflammation on the skin, Psoriasis is a result of an abnormal growth of skin cells. This leads to lesions on the skin’s outer layer, defined by stages of scaling, thickening and redness. The condition is usually accompanied by sensation of itching.

Anyone who suffers from this condition would hope to zero in on the triggers and get rid of Psoriasis. However, the exact causes of Psoriasis are unknown. There could be several potential causes for the condition, ranging from genetic and immunological to psychological and environmental. Nonetheless, it is believed that smoking, alcohol, infections, stress and certain medications can act as triggers. Even seemingly every day occurrences like bruising, bug bites, chafing, cuts and scrapes, or boils could set off an imminent Psoriasis attack.

Psoriasis has detrimental psychological impact on patients – like, low self-esteem, poor relations with family, friends, partner and colleagues, depression and suicidal tendencies, decreased vocational and career opportunities due to discrimination, and increased stress leading to flare-up of the condition.

Although the scale of the skin disorder varies from person to person and goes from being mild to severe, discomfort, embarrassment and psychological consequences of the condition can be far-reaching and prolonged.

Treatment for the skin disorder begins with consulting a doctor, who may first suggest topical creams for psoriasis treatment. Depending on the severity, doctors may also advise prescription medicine for Psoriasis.

However, to deal with the psychological effects, one may need counselling, relaxation therapies and participation in support groups.

Things you should know about Acanthosis Nigricans

Did you ever notice a dark skin patch on your neck, armpit, or under your breasts? If your answer is ‘Yes’, then read on to know more about the dark patch that appeared on your body and what causes it.

The condition that causes dark patches is called acanthosis nigricans. These dark patches appear in skin creases, like neck, armpits, knuckles, face and even groin areas. In the darkened areas, the skin becomes thicker than usual and has a texture similar to that of velvet.

If you are wondering what causes these dark rings around your neck, it is neither the dirt, sweat or hyperpigmentation as you think nor an infection in your skin. It is a sign that your body is producing extra insulin that it cannot use well and that your blood has become resistant to insulin. This condition appears suddenly, but it is not contagious. It is more common in people who are overweight and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

No amount of bleach or scrubs or umpteenth visits to parlour will help you to get back to your normal skin. Visiting your dermatologist is the only solution that can help you to bring back your skin to normal. With an appropriate treatment from a dermatologist, Acanthosis Nigricans can be treated in 4-6 months.

It is not a serious condition to worry about but it can question your confidence at times. So make sure to treat it as soon as you’re encountered with it. Remember the skin is the biggest organ of our body, and it can speak too, through various signs and symptoms. Once it does, ensure to listen to it and respond accordingly.

Living With Psoriasis: Tips for Family and Friends

Living with psoriasis can be tough not only for the person with the diagnosis but also for his/her family and friends. It’s a condition that affects the family, both emotionally and financially. If you are someone with a friend or family member with psoriasis, it becomes necessary for you to help them gain emotional balance.

Be involved medically

Start with the basics and learn about psoriasis – its symptoms, causes and how it can be treated. Talk with them and understand their needs. People living with psoriasis often get frustrated with treatments and give up easily. Encourage them to get treated and accompany them while they visit the doctor.

Help them relax

Stress is a known trigger for psoriasis. Reduce the stress around the household. Talk to the patient and try to lower his/her stress level. Swapping some responsibilities and allowing that person to have extra time to rest are some ways of offering support.

Support them mentally

People with psoriasis start to pull back from life and isolate themselves as it affects their mental health. Depression and psoriasis can go hand in hand. Don’t ignore any signs like persistent sadness or loss of interest in daily activities. If you see signs of depression in the patient, take it seriously. Encourage them to stay connected with family and friends.

Offering support to a friend or family member and staying by their side is important but of them all, taking care of yourself stays as the topmost priority. Remember, you don’t have to take care of them completely but help that person take care of himself/herself.

How to get rid of Ringworm

Ringworm, a fungal infection of the skin, develops as an itchy, red rash on the affected areas. A ringworm rash is uncomfortable, but it is common and can be treated. Early intervention is important in order to prevent the further spreading of infection.

Antifungal creams and medications

Once you observe the symptoms of ringworm, consult the doctor immediately. Medications such as miconazole, clotrimazole, and terbinafine are found effective in treating ringworm. Clean the rash and apply a thin layer of antifungal medication to the affected area, as directed by the doctor. Allow the medication to absorb into your skin.

Wear breathable layers

People think that keeping the ringworm covered with a bandage prevents the spreading of infection. However, bandaging the rash locks in moisture, slowing down the healing process. Wear comfortable clothes in breathable layers to speed the healing process.

If ringworm develops on your feet or groin area, keep the areas dry before putting on a new pair of underwear or socks. If you are someone who sweats a lot during the day, bathe with an antifungal cleansing bar and then apply the topical antifungal powder or cream. Remember, go for medications that are prescribed by the doctor.

Wash the bedding daily

Ringworm is highly contagious. Fungal spores can transfer to your sheets and if you sleep on the same sheets night after night, the ringworm will take a long time to heal. Contaminated bedding can also infect other members of your family. So, wash your bedding and infected clothes daily to get rid of the infection faster with hot water and detergent.

Use an antifungal shampoo

At times, ringworm develops on the scalp. The symptoms include severe itching, patches of hair loss, and severe dandruff. In such cases, wash your hair with an antifungal shampoo that is recommended by the doctor. These shampoos with antifungal active ingredients, such as ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, and pyrithione zinc kill bacteria and fungus on the scalp and stop inflammation.

Visit the doctor regularly and continue treatment until the rash disappears completely. Although ringworm is a common skin infection, don’t ignore it. Quick action is necessary to prevent the spreading of fungus and make sure to prevent further infections.