Back in 2011, reality star Kim Kardashian announced that she suffers from psoriasis. Since that time, she has been influential in raising awareness about the condition. Recently, she shared a shocking photo on her Instagram that brought attention back to it.
As you can see, the photo shows textbook psoriasis flareups all over her face. A lot of people found the photo quite shocking and can’t believe how she is regularly able to conceal it.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that affects more than 8 million Americans. Typically developing between the ages of 15-25, symptoms consist of skin redness and irritation with silver colored scales. Usually occurring on the scalp, face, hands, elbows, knees, and feet, it is believed to occur when the body’s immune system mistakes healthy cells for dangerous or harmful substances.
A common misconception is that psoriasis is contagious, this is not the case. Some things that can contribute to worsening the condition though include, too much exposure to sunlight, consumption of alcohol, and even stress. It can be treated many different ways, with the most common options being topical ointments or creams, lotions, and shampoos.
Taking care of your skin by regularly moisturizing and cleaning the affected area can also help in maintaining and reducing flare-ups. Although there is no way to prevent psoriasis, there are many ways to manage and treat the condition.
Source: National Psoriasis Foundation
Topical corticosteroids (steroids) are a common treatment option for a variety of dermatological conditions. The reason is that they promote anti-inflammatory responses by suppressing the immune system’s response. Typically prescribed for psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, eczema, and rashes, if prescribed appropriately they can yield very effective results.
This effectiveness however can lead to patients developing a dependency on them. Initially, after stopping the topical steroid, the condition may come back with a vengeance. So quite often, people will continue to apply the steroid even after the condition clears, and in doing so, severe side effects can arise. Examples include, atrophy of the skin (the consistency in the area of skin where the cream was used becomes comparable to saran wrap) or striae (thick red lines that look like stretch marks). A way to avoid potential addiction is through the use of a stagger program. This can be done by using the topical steroid twice a day for two weeks, then taking one week off.
Although topical steroids are an effective option, if not administered properly it can lead to serious issues.
Psoriasis is a relatively common condition that typically affects the skin and joints. Occurring on the scalp, elbows, knees, and more uncommonly hands and feet, it can lead to painful complications such as arthritis and severe itching. Although there is currently no way to prevent psoriasis, there are a variety of treatment options that can effectively control the condition.
Some treatment options for psoriasis include topical agents, phototherapy, and systemic agents. Typically used for mild cases, topical agents consist of cortisone creams, moisturizers, skin lotions, ointments, and dandruff shampoos. Then for moderate cases, phototherapy or light therapy is utilized. This method of treatment involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light which in turn suppresses the immune system and reduces the inflammatory response. Exposure must be monitored because too much can lead to burning of the skin, similar to a sun burn. When psoriasis is resistant to these other types of treatment or is considered severe, it is then treated with systemic agents. Systemic agents are prescription medications that are administered orally or through injection.
While all these treatments listed above prove to be beneficial, some can potentially lead to negative side effects. Schedule an appointment with our office today for appropriate diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis.