What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is the name given to a range of skin conditions characterised by scaly patches that can become inflamed. These scaly patches are known as plaques, and are typically caused by excessive production of skin.
How do I know if I have psoriasis?
There is no foolproof way of knowing whether or not you have psoriasis. The best way of knowing is to look at the symptoms. Psoriasis tends to happen in patches – known as plaques – that are often reddish and inflamed with a silvery-white scaly coating in parts. The scaly parts feel hard and rough and the whole area can be itchy. Psoriasis tends to be a persistent condition that reguarly improves for a while before getting worse again.
What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis is often caused by an overproduction of skin. However, this is not the only cause. Little is really known about psoriasis and it may well be a combination of factors including diet, the immune system and skin irritants. It is thought that in some cases, psoriasis is caused by an overreaction by the immune system in the skin, but not all scientists agree with this view.
Is there a cure for psoriasis?
There is no cure for psoriasis that is 100% effective or that works for everyone. The best option for psoriasis sufferers is to use the available treatments to manage the condition.
How can I choose a treatment for psoriasis?
Because psoriasis can be caused by a number of factors, and the exact cause is not diagnosable, the only option that exists is to try a few treatments and to see which ones work the best. It’s a little disappointing that there is no easy answer – psoriasis is a very persistent and annoying condition!
What types of treatment exist for psoriasis?
What do Express Chemist recommend for psoriasis?
- Coal tar is a common ingredient in psoriasis treatments. One of the main symptoms of psoriasis is the presence of excessively thick, scaly skin. Coal tar breaks down this thick skin, leaving it softer and smoother. Coal tar also soothes itchy areas and acts as a mild antiseptic, which is useful in fighting fungal and microbial infections that can attack areas affected by psoriasis.
- Emollients help to soothe and moisturise dry and irritated areas associated with psoriasis.
- Iching relief treatments help to prevent the patient from scratching the skin, which can cause severe damage. Itch relief treatments can complement other treatments for psoriasis.
- Dermatological soaps provide a means of washing the skin without causing irritation.
We recommend in the first instance that you try a range of treatments to see which works best for you. Because psoriasis is often caused by an overproduction of skin, coal-tar treatments such as Exorex
are often highly effective because the coal tar helps to break down and soften the excess skin. Coal tar is also present in shampoos such as Capasal
, as well as Exorex Shampoo
Other treatments are based on a variety of methods and formulations, and may work well for some people but not others, because of the variation of different types of psoriasis and the unpredictable nature of the condition.
Express Chemist recommend using emollients
to treat the dryness, and soaps for sensitive skin
Express Chemist recommend Eurax
for relief from itching associated with psoriasis.