|The embarrassing and unsightly Psoriasis skin disorder|
Dr. Rokeisha Clare-Kleinbussink
Published: May 22, 2012
Psoriasis is not a desirable skin disorder. It is characterized by papules which are patches or plaques of silvery or whitish scales normally sitting on a salmon-colored base. It may or may not be itchy or irritating. Psoriasis can be found anywhere on the body, but usually on the elbows and knees. It can appear suddenly or slowly and many times it goes away and then comes back again and again. Other places on the body where psoriasis may be found is the scalp (where severe dandruff would be seen); on the body from neck to toe; under the breast; between the bottom; on the male’s genitals and the palms and soles. In such cases, it would normally be described as dry skin that seems to never go away, and that although there is a history of using everything, nothing seems to work, it just keeps coming back or getting worse.
Psoriasis can be inherited, meaning it can be passed down through families. It is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. It can be embarrassing and unsightly, particularly in its severe state of heavy scaling and flaking to the exposed surfaces of the body. There can be associated joint pains and/or nail disfigurements such as thick nails, yellow-brown nails, dents in the nail, and nails that lift off from the skin underneath.
Its occurrence is more common than one would think and can present between the ages of 15 and 55. Normally skin cells grow deep in the skin and rise to the surface about once a month or every 28 to 30 days evolving through a process of immature to mature skin cells. However, in people with psoriasis, this process occurs very rapidly, roughly about every two to three days. As a result, skin cells reach maturity quickly and the process that allows the skin cells to breakdown so that skin shedding can occur normally is reduced permitting dead skin cells to build up on the skin's surface resulting in display of thick plaques on the skin’s surface.
There are things and conditions that can trigger or worsen psoriasis in an individual and they are as follows — bacterial or viral infections (including Strep throat and upper respiratory infections), dry skin, some medicines (including antimalaria drugs), stress, too little sunlight, too much sunlight (sunburn), too much alcohol and pregnancy. In addition, people with weakened immune systems as a result of HIV/AIDS, autoimmune disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis) and people receiving cancer chemotherapy treatment.
However, like anything else, medicine of then and now continues to create treatment regimes to overcome this disorder of quick cell proliferation or multiplication. Even though the treatment process and home care can be laborious to most and a pain to deal with, perseverance with treatment can give way to successful skin clearance.
Consulting the dermatologist is the wise route to take in order to achieve proper management for this skin condition so that the severity of it can be assessed correctly. The dermatologist will evaluate the severity of the psoriasis and then will either give topical or prescribed oral medications with the addition of anti-itch medicines if necessary.
Normally the initial treatment would be emollients and these are those greases like Vaseline, Aquaphor ointment, Fisiogel creams and olive oil that help to trap in moisture and prevent water loss from the skin, in addition to the use of oily soaps like white Dove soap when bathing. These are usually then followed by single or combined use of potent topically applied steroids, creams, ointments, or shampoos. In addition to creams that are created to decrease the rate of skin cell proliferation and creams that allow the skin to peel to prevent scale build up. However, in the event that the severity supersedes the initial regime then oral medication(s) would be prescribed in order to work systemically, along with the topically applied medication, to alter and interfere with the abnormal cell mechanism, normalizing its activity and hence encouraging normal skin cell proliferation and maturation.
•Dr. Rokeisha Clare-Kleinbussink studied at Cosmetology Cosmetic Training for Dermal Filler in London, UK and attended the Academy of Beauty Training for Laser and Microdermabrasion in Nottinghamshire, UK. She also attended the University of the West Indies School of Medicine and Cardiff University School of Medicine. She has a private practice at Roseona House of General and Cosmetic Dermatology and can be reached at www.roseonahouse.com or 422-2022.