Skin diseases can be hard to live with, due to their often embarrassing and prominent nature, and psoriasis is probably the most socially challenging for individuals. This autoimmune disease involves the appearance of random, discolored patches on the skin. It has been suggested that celebrity singer-songwriter Michael Jackson was a sufferer because he appeared to have a progressive form of the disease over a period of many years. Thankfully, most sufferers do not go through this, but everyday experiences can still be unpleasant and distressing. The good news about having psoriasis is that there are treatment options available which can help sufferers to overcome the challenges of this disease and live full and happy lives, reaching their social potential.
The most common treatment for psoriasis is the application of a topical agent to the affected skin. The topical agent can take the form of a bath solution or medicated creams and ointments. Topical agents are most effective in mild cases, but can also help those who suffer more severe forms of the disease. Phototherapy is also an option for sufferers, which involves the use of special lamps designed to darker the skin slightly in order to conceal discoloration. The most common and successful type of phototherapy is Psoralen and Ultraviolet 'A' phototherapy (PUVA), which involves a combined treatment of oral or topical administration of psoralen with exposure to ultraviolet 'A' light. In basic terms, the light activates the psoralen, which in turn inhibits the abnormal rate of cell production found in psoriatic skin. However, PUVA treatment does have some adverse side-effects for many patients, including nausea, tiredness, headaches, burning and itching.
In some cases, topical agents and PUVA do not work for the patient. However, this need not be the end of the matter. Usually this kind of disease is also susceptible to timely drug treatments, and there are a range of medications available. One point to note is that these medications are highly-toxic, so regular blood and liver function tests are necessary. It is also important to understand that the medication does not cure psoriasis, it merely suppressing it. If you cease medication, the psoriasis will return.
Finally, most doctors will suggest that sufferers help themselves by adopting a healthy lifestyle, with a balanced diet, a proper work-life balance and regular vigor exercise. It is believed that stress, alcohol, smoking, and fatty foods can exacerbate symptoms, so by taking steps to cut these out, sufferers are helping to control their psoriasis. Some doctors may even suggest patients to join groups that have the same problem for the person to have a strong support system.
Tips and comments
Although psoriasis is, sadly, a lifelong condition with no cure, it can be seen from the above that there are many options available for sufferers that allow them to live successfully with the condition. The same principle applies to other skin diseases. Medical science has found numerous ways to help people in these circumstances and so there is no reason why anyone should limit themselves due to what they may feel is an embarrassing skin disease, but which is in fact eminently treatable, and sometime even curable.
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