In recognition of August as Psoriasis Awareness month, EeYuva attempted interaction with Dr. Syed Shazia Fatima, Consultant for Cosmetic Dermatology & Hair Transplantation, at AK Clinics, Hyderabad, about the chronic skin condition- Psoriasis, to create awareness and educate people on its treatment options.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition where the life cycle of skin cells speeds up. For example, if the usual life cycle of skin cells is 28-32 days for normal skin, here, in the case of psoriasis, the process speeds up to four times in the particular area affected with psoriasis. This can happen anytime between 4 to 17 days. According to the World Psoriasis Day consortium, nearly 125 million people are affected by Psoriasis. This adds up to 2-3% of the entire world population.
What Happens When Psoriasis Occurs?
So when a person is affected by psoriasis in a particular area, the skin in that area usually becomes scaly and causes itching and pain. The Skin can also change in appearance and can appear red or with greyish scales. This happens because of the extra skin cells in that particular region. While any part of the body can be affected by psoriasis, the main areas affected by this condition are elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms, and feet.
Is This Condition Contagious?
Well, the condition isn’t contagious to other people, but in an individual with a genetic predisposition, there can be triggers, such as in people who smoke, drink alcohol and people with stress and low vitamin-D. In such conditions of a trigger, psoriasis can occur in new areas of the body. Sometimes a few medications can also worsen the condition. Family history of the condition also plays a major role in acquiring psoriasis.
How Is This Condition Treated?
The condition cannot be cured but can be controlled and treated. There are many treatment options available due to the advancement of medical technology. Out of them, few creams that help reduce the scaling which may include salicylic acid, Vitamin D analogues or mild steroids, are given to the patients which they can apply to the affected area. Medication is given for descaling and also advanced treatments like the excimer laser, light therapy, which can be done at home and clinic, UVB/UVA therapy and photochemotherapy are recommended.
Awareness And Educating On The Condition:
A lot of people don't understand how to cope with the condition. Scalp psoriasis almost goes undiagnosed with chronic dandruff. There are many support groups, helping and creating awareness of psoriasis. Awareness of treatment options is limited and people are failing to manage the condition. Though tanning the skin is still considered a major problem in a country like India, sometimes a little of vitamin-D can also help improve the condition.
Information Credits: Dr. Syed Shazia Fatima, Consultant for Cosmetic Dermatology & HairTransplantation, at AK Clinics, Hyderabad. The doctor has an experience of 6 years in the field of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic medicine and is an expert in anti-ageing, laser and acne treatments.
(Image Source: Shuttershock)