Psoriasis: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Don’t let this common skin condition stop you from living your life.

Hiding the red patches and scaly layers on your face, elbows, knees, lower back and scalp are not always easy, especially during summer and sometimes prevents people from going out because they are in pain and feel ashamed of their skin.

Psoriasis can be a mentally, emotionally and physically debilitating illness, and yet, it is one of the most common chronic skin diseases in South Africa.

While treatment options exist, they tend to be costly and often are not an option for people who are not on medical aid as this is a lifelong disease.

Local dermatologist, Dr Ugeshnie Naidoo, shares some advice on what to do if you think you have psoriasis and how to deal with it long term.

  1. Symptoms to look out for: If you notice itchy, flaky, or red patches on your skin or on a loved one, don’t ignore it. Seek advice from a dermatologist as soon as possible.
  2. Don’t delay: Early diagnosis and treatment is key to preventing further psoriasis-related health issues such as heart disease, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, obesity, hypertension, anxiety, stress, and depression.
  3. Treatment options: depending on the severity of the symptoms, the following options are recommended: creams; light therapy; antibiotics; oral medications and biologics. Remember that there is no cure for psoriasis and managing the condition with the right treatment is going to be a life-long commitment.

For more advice and information, visit the online community #MoreThanSkinDeep on Facebook.

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