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Psoriasis: A Common Condition We Don't Know Enough About

According to the World Psoriasis Day consortium, 2-3% of the world’s population suffer from psoriasis. When you consider a number of people included in that statistic, it’s enough to make us sit up and take notice. Yet, when you mention psoriasis to many, they reply with something along the lines of ‘what’s that?’

We may all be familiar with other skin conditions, like eczema. But, considering how common psoriasis is, our lack of knowledge is worrying. It’s possible that many individuals with the condition don’t even realise it. That’s why we’re going to take a closer look at what it is, who’s at risk, and what they can do about it!

So, what is it?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when our immune systems go into overdrive. Excessive cell production causes a buildup on the skin’s surface which makes itself known through red and flaky patches. Much like eczema, these can itch and cause discomfort. But, that’s not the only issue when you face life with psoriasis. You also have to deal with the visible impact of the condition. This can have a major effect on quality of life and self-confidence. We’re sure you’ll agree that it’s far from ideal.

Who can become affected?

Much like other illnesses, psoriasis doesn’t discriminate. Anybody is at risk of falling under this burden. While skin care goes a long way once you're diagnosed, it may not save you getting the condition. Moisturisation should help to keep the issue at bay, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be safe forever. In fact, the best thing you can do has nothing to do with your skin itself. Caring for your immune system is the only sure way to ensure psoriasis never enters your life. Eating the right foods and living as healthy a life as possible makes you much less likely to suffer.

To gain an idea of how many people are at risk, it’s worth looking to celebrities who have suffered at some point. These are, after all, the picture perfect people we base our images upon. If they can get it, anyone can.

A fantastic example is Kim Kardashian. She made no secret about the leg psoriasis which developed when she was thirty. LeAnn Rimes also suffered from a severe form of the condition from the young age of two years old, though you wouldn’t know it to look at her now! And, Oasis singer Liam Gallagher has also admitted to suffering from psoriasis.

So, you see, no one is exempt!

Where can it appear?

In truth, Psoriasis can appear anywhere on your body. That said, there are areas which seem to see the worst flare ups. Elbows and knees are particularly susceptible. The scalp is also a problem area to look out for. However, psoriasis appears in a variety of places. And, if you do develop the condition, it may affect many areas. As this article shows, some people even develop psoriasis on eyebrows or their faces.

You’ll face different challenges depending on where psoriasis appears. And, different treatments are required for each. For the scalp, for example, treatment shampoos are advised. On the legs and arms, however, creams are usually required. What can you do about it?There’s no known ‘cure’ for psoriasis, but there are many treatments which can make the condition all but disappear. Remember, LeAnn Rimes had a severe problem which is all but invisible.

So, how can you ensure your psoriasis goes in the same way? For one, it’s important to visit a doctor. Self-diagnosis is always risky, and you'll struggle to get your condition under control. For the most part, a doctor will diagnose psoriasis from appearance only. In some cases, they may send off samples so they can develop effective treatment plans. As mentioned above, creams or shampoos are usually all it takes to get things under control. Your doctor will be able to see what form of psoriasis you have and will prescribe these as necessary.

It may also be worth considering if anything triggers your breakouts. Diet is often the main issue. Do you suffer after eating a particular food? Noticing patterns like these will help you avoid and understand the issues.In extreme cases, a doctor may recommend phototherapy. This is a treatment which involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light rays. The thought behind the method is that these rays will penetrate the skin and slow cell growth.

Bear in mind, though, that this should only be undertaken with medical supervision!
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