Who gets psoriasis?

If you have a child with psoriasis, will your other children also develop it? Where in the world does psoriasis most commonly occur? How common is psoriasis? Read on to find out.

At what age is psoriasis most likely to first appear?
There are two peak periods when psoriasis tends to appear for the first time: 16 to 22 years and 57 to 60 years. Between 10% and 15% of new cases start in children less than 10 years old.

Where in the world is psoriasis most common?
The incidence of psoriasis varies with race, geography, and environment. The country with the highest known rate of psoriasis is Norway (4.8%). The rate is 2.6% in the United States and is probably similar in Canada. In Newfoundland, the incidence of psoriasis is as high as 3% of the population. Scandinavia and Western Europe also have higher-than-average rates. People with lower-than-average rates include Japanese, West Africans, and North Americans of African descent. Psoriasis is extremely rare in the indigenous (native) peoples of North and South America.

Does psoriasis affect females more than males?
No. Psoriasis affects an equal number of adult men and women. In children and teens, plaque psoriasis affects a greater number of females, but this is just because the condition develops earlier in females.

Will the siblings of a child with psoriasis also develop the condition?
Possibly. People with a family history of psoriasis tend to develop psoriasis earlier than others. If a child develops psoriasis before the age of 15, the brothers and sisters of that child have a 3-fold higher risk of getting psoriasis themselves compared to brothers and sisters of people who first got psoriasis after age 30.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Psoriasis-Trivia

Causes and triggers of psoriasis

A variety of things may trigger the onset of psoriasis or make it worse. Are there things you should try to avoid to prevent a flare-up? Is your blood pressure medication affecting your psoriasis? Should you try sunbathing? Read on to find out.

Can infections trigger psoriasis?
Yes. Guttate psoriasis has been shown to develop following strep throat (streptococcal throat infection). Other infections that may trigger psoriasis include HIV and infections caused by staphylococcal bacteria.

Can psoriasis develop at sites of injury to the skin?
Yes, it can. When psoriasis plaques develop where the skin has been injured, it is called Koebner's phenomenon.

Are there medications that can make psoriasis worse?
Yes, some medications may cause a flare-up of psoriasis. Examples of these include antimalarials (e.g., chloroquine), mood stabilizers (e.g., lithium), blood pressure medications (e.g., beta-blockers), and certain skin creams or lotions containing skin irritants. For some people who are taking corticosteroid medication by mouth, the psoriasis symptoms may worsen when they stop taking the medication. Check with your doctor if you are taking any of these medications.

Does sunbathing improve psoriasis or make it worse?
It depends. A bad sunburn is a form of skin injury and can result in Koebner's phenomenon (see above), which causes psoriasis plaques to form. However, sunlight and artificial UV light are also treatments for psoriasis. Many people with psoriasis notice an improvement of their symptoms in the summer, but a few people find that sunlight aggravates their condition. Some medications used to treat psoriasis, such as tazarotene, can increase a person's sensitivity to the sun. Anyone taking psoralens for phototherapy should be careful to avoid overexposure to sunlight.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Psoriasis-Trivia

Treating psoriasis

Tachyphylaxis. PUVA. What do these mean? Is methotrexate safe during pregnancy? Can vitamin D treat psoriasis? Learn more about some of the medications, issues, and side effects of treating psoriasis.

What is tachyphylaxis?
No, it's not a disease. It can be a side effect of applying corticosteroid preparations to the skin. It occurs when the medication becomes less effective over time. In a sense, the psoriasis becomes resistant to the treatment. Tachyphylaxis can be prevented by using a non-medicated ointment for 1 to 2 weeks as a rest period in between treatments with the corticosteroid.

What psoriasis medications can be taken during pregnancy?
If you have psoriasis and plan on becoming pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about the best medication for you. Many psoriasis medications are not suitable for pregnant and nursing women. Some must never be used during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant must not use retinoids applied to the skin (e.g., tazarotene) or taken by mouth (e.g., acitretin), hydroxyurea, 6-thioguanine, or methotrexate, as they pose a risk of birth defects. For other medications, such as topical (skin-applied) corticosteroids, the safety of use during pregnancy has not been established. Speak to your doctor to find out what options are available.

Is it true that vitamin D can treat psoriasis?
Not exactly. However, there is an effective psoriasis treatment called calcipotriol that has a structure similar to that of vitamin D3. It's available as a cream, ointment, or scalp solution. The beneficial effects of this medication may take 6 to 8 weeks to show best results, so don't stop using it until you've given it enough time to work. The fastest improvement is seen when this medication is used together with topical corticosteroids. The two medications cannot be physically mixed by a pharmacist due to instability concerns, but a new stable pre-mixed combination product is now available. Calcipotriol shouldn't be used on the face. You should limit the amount you use to 100 g per week to prevent a potential side effect called hypercalcemia - a higher-than-normal amount of calcium in the blood.

What is PUVA?
PUVA is a form of phototherapy that stands for psoralen plus ultraviolet light A. It combines a psoralen medication with UV light. Psoralens are light-sensitizing chemicals. PUVA is useful when psoriasis covers more than 10% of a person's skin. After treatment, you must protect your eyes from UV light (sunlight) for 1 to 2 days with UVA-blocking glasses and must protect your skin to prevent sunburn. Phototherapy can increase the risk of skin cancer.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Psoriasis-Trivia

New and interesting alternatives

Balneology? Interferential current? They sound strange, but there are lots of new and alternative treatments being used to treat psoriasis. Some have evidence to back them up, and some don't. Talk to your doctor about any new or alternative therapies you are considering.

What in the world is balneology and what does it have to do with psoriasis?
Balneology
is the science of bathing. It's also called hydrotherapy or water therapy. Most people would agree that soaking in the bath is soothing, but it may also be good for treating psoriasis. Using certain products in your bathwater may be helpful in removing scales and stopping the itch. Try products like tar solutions, oils, Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts, or oiled oatmeal. Sulphate-rich thermal spa water from Italy has been studied as a treatment for psoriasis. After 4 weeks, the effect of the treatment was measured using a psoriasis severity score. The spa water improved psoriasis much more than regular water did.

Can you shock your psoriasis into remission?
There is some evidence that electricity can treat psoriasis on the palms of the hands. Interferential current (IFC) is a form of electrical stimulation used most often to treat pain. A small study of patients tested IFC to see if it would improve redness, scaling, hardness, fissures, and pustules on the palms of the hands. At the end of the study, almost everyone showed significant improvement. These results suggest that IFC may be a therapy for some forms of psoriasis.

Can taking a shower treat psoriasis?
It can if it's shower PUVA. Shower PUVA, being studied in Germany, is a new way of treating the skin with psoralen for phototherapy. The person with psoriasis takes a shower with water that contains psoralen. The water flows through a closed shower system and the psoralen accumulates in the upper layers of the person's skin. After the shower, the person's whole body is irradiated with UV light. For shower PUVA with trioxsalen, 10 minutes in the shower is needed to achieve the right amount of photosensitivity.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Psoriasis-Trivia