Psoriasis is a skin condition where skin cells grow too quickly. As these skin cells pile up on the skin, they create a patchy and scaly appearance.
In most cases, these patches and scales are whitish-silver in appearance. They are accompanied by redness and inflammation.
They can appear anywhere in the body, but they commonly form on the elbows and knees.
Psoriasis have different types and they are the following:
Among these types, plaque psoriasis is the most common. It affects almost 80% of all people with psoriasis.
However, it is possible for one person to develop more than one type. In some cases, a person can transition from one type to another.
The cause of psoriasis is unclear. In research, however, there are two key factors that come into play:
If you have an immediate family member with the condition, you are more likely to develop psoriasis. Take note that having genetic predisposition isn’t a complete guarantee that you’ll have it right away.
Psoriasis is a type of autoimmune condition where the body’s own immune system attacks itself. This reaction causes skin cell production to go overdrive and this results to skin cells building up faster than they should be.
If you have an existing case of psoriasis, there are a couple of factors in your environment you need to cautious about. Some of the most common triggers for psoriasis include:
The symptoms of psoriasis largely depend on the type you have. You can have a few or all of the following:
- Patches on the skin that are reddish and raised
- Patches with silver-white color
- Patches on knees, elbows and scalp
- Itchy patches
- Nail issues
- Pus-filled bumps that leave scales on the skin
- Bumps on soles and palms
- Muscle weakness
- Bright red skin
- Skin of the body turns bright red (burnt look)
- Increased heart beat
- More intense pain and itch
- Raw-looking red patches on the skin
- Patches developing on areas where skin touches
- Affected areas feel sore
- Small red spots appearing anywhere in the body
- Spots appearing frequently after an illness and go away on their own once treatment is done
Skin Care Routine For Psoriasis
There is no cure for psoriasis but the way you care for your skin can have a tremendous effect on how it behaves. Tweaking the products you use and how you use them can promote healing and prevent flare ups.
Step 1: Cleanse
In choosing your cleanser, find one that’s formulated specifically for dry, sensitive skin. Avoid harsh soaps as they can be irritating.
If you really prefer to use a soap for cleansing, make sure that it’s formulated with gentle moisturizing ingredients.
Ideally, you should wash your face just once a day to prevent drying.
Step 2: Exfoliate
As much as possible, stay away from harsh exfoliants. They can do more damage to your skin than you could ever imagine.
Instead of harsh scrubs, use a gentle exfoliant to get rid of the scales and patches on your skin. You can try products with BHAs (like salicylic acid) and AHAs (like glycolic acid).
These ingredients also bind in water to provide extra hydration to your skin.
Step 3: Tone
Toners aren’t really recommended for people with psoriasis, particularly those that contain alcohol and fragrances. They can be drying to the skin, causing it to react more negatively.
In picking the right toner for your skin type, choose one with skin-soothing ingredients.
Step 4: Moisturize
Moisturizers are a great help not just in preventing scales but also in soothing the skin. They can also reduce redness, itching and soreness.
In choosing the right moisturizer for your skin concern, you need to first assess how dry your skin is.
Ointments make a great choice for psoriasis since they are good in locking in moisture. However, they are thick and they feel greasy which can easily turn you off.
Lotions are also nice since they are thinner and gets absorbed quicker.
Apply your moisturizer after cleansing or taking a shower. Gently pat it on your skin and make sure to reapply throughout the day.
During cold days, you may need to use your moisturizer more frequently.
Step 5: Use sunscreen
Sunlight is beneficial in slowing down your skin’s cell production. You should get some sun a couple of times each week.
Despite how beneficial it is, you still shouldn’t forget to use a sunscreen. Look for one that’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.