Psoriasis is considered an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks itself by mistake and inflames healthy tissue. It is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that manifests through flares and appears as desquamative and scabby plaques clearly defined on elbows, knees and hands.
The origin of this disease is genetic in 30% of cases, although environmental factors such as stress, a strong emotional impact, infections and taking drugs such as anti-inflammatory drugs, beta-blockers or anti-malarial drugs can also trigger a sporadic flare of psoriasis.
Although there are different levels of severity and extension, psoriasis usually has a significant impact on the well-being of the patient who has it.
Although it can manifest at any age, most patients have the first flares between the ages of 15 and 35, which usually appear as clearly-delimited red skin lesions that vary in size, covered with whitish scales of variable thickness, often on elbows, knees, scalp and sacral region, although it can affect any other part of the body.
These lesions can itch, hurt, and sometimes crack and bleed.
Apart from skin lesions or joint compromise, some patients are also overweight or obese, and have high glucose and cholesterol levels, which is known as metabolic syndrome. Hence, the importance of assessing the patient with psoriasis globally to be treated by specialized multidisciplinary units, warns the specialist.
Given that psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that appears as flares, it must be diagnosed as soon as possible to control and separate the onset of flares and achieve a better quality of life for the patient.
The participation of different medical specializations involved in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease is really important since psoriasis is not only limited to the skin. It is very important that if the patient needs it, their disease is assessed by other specialists such as an endocrinologist in the event of metabolic disorders, or a psychologist, if the disease significantly affects the patient's psycho-social life.
Despite the progress made regarding treatment, no definitive cure can be offered at present. The aim of the treatment is to rid the skin of lesions for as long as possible, which is called "whitening lesions", or achieve their remission.
The choice of type of treatment will depend on the severity of the disease, the person's lifestyle, the diseases that they have, their age and preferences.
Our experience confirms that the combination of different therapies such as immunotherapy and biological treatments, supported by phototherapy sessions, with narrowband UVB radiations, really help to control the disease.
How does our lifestyle affect flare control?
We know that the patients' stress level and quality of life have a direct impact on controlling the disease. Our specialists advise controlling stress, maintaining healthy lifestyle habits, such as a healthy diet, eliminating harmful habits such as smoking or alcohol consumption and doing sports regularly to help control the disease and improve quality of life.