Characterised by an inflamed, scaly and patchy rash, psoriasis can range from being a minor irritation to very severe, affecting large areas of the skin. As well as the physical discomfort, psoriasis can have a significant impact emotionally and socially – but help is at hand. Get in touch today to find out how the team at The Dermatology Clinic can help get your psoriasis under control.
Although usually a chronic condition, even severe psoriasis can be well managed with a combination of lifestyle measures and treatments. Often, identifying and managing key triggers plays an important role. Find more information below on the condition, and treatments for psoriasis available at The Dermatology Clinic London.
Psoriasis is a common skin disease affecting approximately 2% of the population. In psoriasis, skin cells divide more quickly than normal. The excess, skin cells build-up to create flaky, red patches of skin that become inflamed and can make the skin feel itchy. Usually, the patches can cover a small area of skin, most often on the elbows, knees, scalp or lower back, but can also be widespread. Psoriasis can also cause brittle nails and is sometimes associated with arthritis.
Types of psoriasis
Psoriasis can occur in a number of clinical patterns. These are:
Chronic plaque: the most common type, chronic plaque usually appears on the knees, elbow and scalp. Symptoms include red or pink inflamed patches of skin with white scaling
Sebopsoriasis: this is similar to scalp psoriasis but can occur on the armpits, chest, face or groin
Eryrthrodermic: this extensive form of psoriasis can cover more than 90% of the skin
Flexural: flexural psoriasis causes red, raw areas of skin in the armpits, groin or under the breasts
Guttate: this type of psoriasis causes multiple small spots of psoriasis that erupt on the torso after an illness or sore throat
Palmoplantar pustular : with this type of psoriasis, inflamed spots filled with pus appear on the soles and palms
Pustular: this is the most severe form of psoriasis and causes red, tender skin lesions with pus-filled pots
How is psoriasis treated?
There is no long-term cure for psoriasis, but our dermatologists use a range of treatments to clear up the skin patches and soothe symptoms. The type of treatment chosen will depend on the severity and type of psoriasis and our consultant dermatologists will usually begin with a mild treatment before moving onto stronger options if these prove ineffective for you.
Topical treatments include creams or ointments applied to the affected area to ease itchiness and reduce redness. These are usually made with topical corticosteroids or vitamin D.
During photo or light therapy, the affected area is exposed to an ultraviolet light. This gradually kills the immune cells in the skin contributing to psoriasis.
This treatment involves injections or oral medications and will only be used if you have a severe case of psoriasis.