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July 14, 2021 03:23pm
By Jill Murphy, Associate Editor
Psoriasis is classified as an autoimmune condition that causes red, raised, and scaly patches on the skin. In the United States, it is estimated that 7.5 million individuals have some degree of psoriasis. Typically, this skin condition occurs on the outside of the elbows, knees, and scalp, but it can also occur anywhere on the body.
In general, this condition often appears on individuals aged 15 to 25 years, but it can develop at any age. There may be times when psoriasis symptoms get better and times when the symptoms flare up. There are several types of psoriasis. Some people with psoriasis may also develop psoriatic arthritis.
Signs and Symptoms
Psoriasis affects people in varying degrees. Common signs and symptoms often include:
Causes and Common Triggers
While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, it is thought to be due to a problem with an individual’s immune system. Various triggers of psoriasis include:
Testing and Diagnosis
Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam, examining your skin, scalp, and nails, and will ask you questions about your medical history and symptoms. Your doctor may also perform a skin biopsy to determine what type of psoriasis you have.
Prevention and Management
The most effective way to prevent psoriasis flare-ups is to adhere to the prescribed treatment plan. Measures to manage psoriases include:
Treatment and Care
Treatment of psoriasis is based on the type and severity of the psoriasis and the areas of skin involved. Treatment may include:
Homeopathic and Alternative Remedies
Many patients with psoriasis may elect to use alternative remedies. While scientific data are limited, some herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, or other forms of therapy include:
If you are considering the use of supplements or alternative therapies to manage your psoriasis, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist prior to using them.
To prevent potential drug interactions or contraindications, it is very important to discuss the use of OTC products with your doctor or pharmacist before using these products. A pharmacist can make recommendations about possible treatments.
Resources for Patients
Resources for Pharmacists