World Psoriasis Day
About two hundred and fifty thousand people in Greece suffer from psoriasis and face a number of problems. A predominant problem is the fact that most are unaware that psoriasis is not contagious resulting in significant psychosocial burden on sufferers.
Although psoriasis is rarely severely life-threatening, it has significant psychological and social consequences. Due to the visibility of the disease, psoriasis can cause intense feelings of stress, anxiety, anger and depression.
Psoriasis has been shown to affect many aspects of quality of life, making daily functioning, interpersonal relationships and professional careers difficult. The most important effect could be said is the social stigma and isolation of patients.
What is psoriasis?
It is a common, chronic, inflammatory skin disease that affects about 2% of the population and varies depending on race, latitude and other environmental factors. Men and women are equally affected. The usual age of onset is the 3rd - 4th decade of life. About 10-15% of patients develop the disease before the age of 10 years. In this case, a larger area of the body is affected and the disease responds significantly less to local treatment.
What are its types?
The main skin lesions in psoriasis are thick, red plaques with loosely attached scales on their surface. The most common form is psoriasis that is usually found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back and all over the body. Itching, peeling and bleeding are typical.
Another common form is drip psoriasis, which usually occurs after streptococcal infection in younger patients.
Multiple, in the form of a drop, red spots are observed mainly on the trunk, upper and lower extremities.
Other forms, more rare, are:
Reverse psoriasis:It is usually seen in obese people in the normal aspects of the body, such as under the breasts, groin and armpits.
Pustular psoriasis: fluid blisters are observed surrounding red skin mainly on the palms and soles (Pustular psoriasis of the palms-soles) . There is also the generalized form associated with:
Erythrodermic psoriasis: it is rare. The skin almost all over the body is red, as if burnt and peeling. Pain and itching coexist.
A percentage of 10-30% of patients with psoriasis also suffer from psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints. The hands, feet, elbows, wrists and lower back are mainly affected.
Psoriasis also affects the nails and can only be found in them (nail psoriasis) . We observe the pits (ie spotted deepenings on the surface), yellowish color of the nails, formations like "oil drop" and thickening of the nails.
What are the treatments?
Psoriasis in most cases needs treatment throughout life and especially in the period of disease outbreaks. There are many treatment regimens for psoriasis and depending on its severity, the patient's age, place of residence and several other parameters determine the respective regimen for the patient.
The treatments are divided into