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Millions of individuals suffer from psoriasis, a condition that often manifests as red patches across the surface of the skin. It is as prevalent in men as it is in women. While the symptoms can vary for each person, common symptoms include dry and irritated skin that can itch and even bleed. The root cause of psoriasis is unknown, though scientists suspect it's related to excess production of skin cells, a dysfunction of the body's immune system, or a combination of the two.

The Effects Of Psoriasis  

Psoriasis is usually categorized with regards to its level of severity (mild, moderate, or severe). The categories are based upon the percentage of surface area affected, degree of redness and scaling, how receptive the condition is to various treatments and its impact upon the patient.

Psoriasis can manifest as tiny bumps, thick patches of raised skin, or areas of skin with severe flaking. In nearly a third of cases, psoriasis leads to discomfort and pain within the joints (known as psoriatic arthritis). Occasionally, the pain can even be debilitating.

Different Treatments For Psoriasis  

The type of treatment used by doctors and dermatologists varies based upon the severity of each case and the response that each patient has to the treatment. These can include using topical agents, phototherapy, medications and even injections. In mild cases of psoriasis, topical solutions such as emollients and medicated creams are used to moisturize and soothe areas that are irritated. Alternatively, limited exposure to UVB rays can lead to remission. In some cases, hydrocortisone is used in combination with phototherapy to encourage remission or lead to less severe symptoms.

Severe cases of psoriasis, including psoriatic arthritis, usually require medications or injections because topical treatments are ineffective. This can include vitamin A derivatives such as retinoids and immunosuppressive medications such as methotrexate that can inhibit the immune system. The downside to using drugs to treat psoriasis is the possibility of side effects.

Living With Psoriasis  

Unfortunately, while psoriasis can go into remission and the symptoms can be managed with a variety of treatments, there is no known cure for the condition. Topical treatments, phototherapy and various medications can be used to provide relief from discomfort and pain, but these treatments cannot eliminate psoriasis. That being said, continuous research is being conducted to uncover treatments that are more effective and longer lasting.

If you're applying emollients and moisturizers to reduce itching and dryness caused by psoriasis, choose skin care products that really work. Products that contain urea, as in [Link Removed] can provide some relief. Further, if you're relying upon direct sunlight for phototherapy, use an effective UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen such as Anthelios to help control the amount of exposure you have to UVA and UVB rays.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store that specializes in [Link Removed] 


Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Nov 7, 2008
    • I live with psoriatic arthritis without any prescribed shots or medications.

      You can pretty much control it with diet, no stress (ya...right) and exercise.

      If anyone wants info, contact me.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Starfish wrote Nov 8, 2008
    • I wonder if this is what I have?  I have been diagnosed with arthritis, what kind exactly, not sure.  I have been to many “specalists” who cannot make a decision on my skin condition.  One said acne, maybe...no.  One said, Keratosis maybe...not sure.  Another, allergies?  Not sure.  I have tiny white bumps all over my skin that are not really noticible unless I scratch it.  They bleed and become open sores that look horrible and take weeks to heal.  Sun light helps as well as camphor lotion or anything drying, but then I have dry skin so I have to use lotion.  I’m exhausted.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lilly wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • DermaTherpy Sheets for Skin Care are wonderful for Psorisis! I have had Psorisis for many years and these sheets feel great against my skin. I am so thankful to finally find something that helps me sleep more comfortably. My skin does not tear against these sheets.
      You can find more info about these sheets on www.dermatherapyfabrics.com .



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindy Stewart Penkoff wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • I also live with psoriatic arthritis.  This is a complicated disease that is auto-immune and can truly reak havoc on your body.  Many days I am fine, but, there are just as many days that I can barely walk.  My skin condition has been “contained” on my face and hands (see my most recent blog post), but I still get breakouts.  Tea tree oil is an amazing healing oil that you can mix with any cream, I suggest one with shea butter, for the remainder of your body.  Feel free to use tea tree in your shampoo for scalp relief.  

      Eucalyptus oil is great for the muscle aches.  These I suffer with daily.  I also suffered 4 miscarriages from the disease.  So I have gone on and off medications that are just as devistating as the disease itself.  Relief is personal.  But, there are options.  I suggest you find the one that works best for you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindy Stewart Penkoff wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • starfish,

      There are blood test to identify the disease.  You should know that there are 100’s of forms of arthritis that do not have a marker as well.

      Keep looking.  Find a specialist.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • Auto immune conditions like psoriasis can often be precipitated by stress (as you mention, Yana) in susceptible individuals. The triggers and severity will vary amongst individuals. Successful treatments as you’ve mentioned will also vary.  

      Though the condition can’t be eliminated, it can be dealt with. It looks like you’ve all found ways to help you manage your condition. Thanks for sharing.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lozanovp wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • Starfish:  

      Hi!  I think I might be able to help you.  My husband has psoraisis and has battled it for years but what you have sounds like something a few of my friends have had.  It doesn’t sound like psoraisis though.  It sounds like an allergic reaction to the lotions you‘re using for your dry skin.  I’ve had many people say there is nothing they can do to fix “it” and then use products I’ve used and it goes away.  If you want to know more, e-mail me.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your results.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lozanovp wrote Nov 12, 2008
    • Cindy, Lilly, and Yana—-My husband has battled with psoraisis since he was 16 and I TOTALLY agree with Yana’s comment.  Here are a few things we’ve learned over the years of trying to discover how to manage, control and/or get rid of psoraisis.

        1) We’ve discovered based on extensive reading and personal experience that if you truly have psoriasis (google it online and you’ll see what it looks like——it is very tell-tale when you see a pic), that diet is EVERYTHING.  My husband’s doctors told him since he was 16 that it didn’t matter what he ate and that is so far from the truth!  We learned that one thing someone who has psoraisis can NEVER eat is PORK.  We had read a book written by a chiropractor in PA who had successfully helped clear up many people with psoraisis and he stated emphatically that pork was a trigger.  Well my husband (who had it ALL over his body at that time—to the point where it was cracked and bleeding constantly) decided to take his advice and get off pork.  He also got on a fitness regimen where he wasn’t eating white flour, sugar or drinking soft drinks and was working out consistently. His skin looked like mine for the first time in 10 years of marriage (with no skin applied steroid creams).  To make a long story short (about the pork), we went on a camping trip which included eating with other friends who served us pork (and not wanting to be rude) which we ate.  Within 3-4 days (after his skin being beautifully clear for two months) he had an outbreak all over his upper body which took months to clear.

      All that to say stay away from Pork!  If you want information on that book, I’ll have to find it cause’ I can’t remember the title right now.  If you’d like more information on diet/product he uses that really helps, e-mail me.   (This is long enough!)



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