How to manage psoriasis effectively

It is categorized as mild, moderate or severe, depending on the percentage of affliction on the body. It is one of the oldest known ailments affecting mankind and continues to be a medical challenge, as it cannot be cured completely and demands lifelong therapy for effective management.

The symptoms of psoriasis differ from one person to another but usually include:

  • Red skin patches with silvery scales
  • Small scaling spots
  • Dry, cracked skin
  • Itching, burning/soreness
  • Thickened, pitted/ridged nails
  • Swollen, stiff joints

Other likely symptoms are:

  • Genital lesions (in males)
  • Joint pain or ache (psoriatic arthritis)
  • Nail alterations (including yellow-brown spots, dents on the nail surface and dislocation of the nail from the base. Psoriasis may also cause psoriatic arthritis (inflammation of the joints).

What are the modern day treatments available to manage psoriasis?

Psoriasis can be managed with a multitude of treatments – however, what works for one patient may have no effect upon another. These include local treatments with emollients (a liquid or cream used to render the skin soft), cortisone cream etc as well as systemic treatments like Cyclosporine and Soriatane.

During the preliminary stages of this ailment, topical treatments with medicated ointments or creams may be used. In more severe or advanced cases, treatments like UV – A light, Psoralen Plus UV – A light, retinoids like Accutane, Generic soriatane aka Acitretin etc. may be required.

Soriatane (or Acitretin) scores high as an oral psoriasis medication – it is today recognized as the best possible treatment that can deal effectively with all the five forms of psoriasis, viz., guttate, plaque, pustular, guttate, erythrodermic, and palmar-plantar. Soriatane is a retinoid medication which functions by inhibiting specific receptors and thereby boosting the growth of skin cells.

It is commonly available in 10 and 25mg strengths and is to be taken once a day. Its dosage may vary from one person to another, depending on various factors like health condition etc.

It may take up to 2 – 3 weeks for Soriatane treatment to be effective – however, in some cases, marked improvement may be seen in just 8 weeks from commencing usage.

During the course of treatment, one may experience a downturn in the ailment, heightened itchiness’s as well as redness – all of which subside gradually with continuing usage.

What are the do’s and don’ts whilst managing psoriasis?

  • Always keep in mind that psoriasis is a manageable skin condition. Here are a few tips for managing psoriasis and its attendant symptoms effectively.
  • Use an effective sunscreen that can keep your skin moist and protect against hazardous ultraviolet (UV) rays, in case you pan to spend time outdoors.
  • Take a shower or bathe every day with warm water to remove scales. Avoid harsh soaps.