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Psoriasis: an inflammation with a wide variety of symptoms and treatments

Img_Psoriasis: an inflammation with a wide variety of symptoms and treatments

Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease. Outbreaks of psoriasis may be triggered in individuals who have a predisposition to the disease, when confronted with various factors. These red scaly plaques may be treated using creams, phototherapy and spa therapy.


Red scaly patches, particularly around the knees and elbows

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease with a variety of different symptoms. The most common are rough red patches with well-defined contours. These round or oval psoriatic plaques are covered in thick white skin, called scales. Both the size and number of lesions may vary. This highly common skin disease may appear at any age.  Psoriasis is most frequently found on skin areas that are subject to friction: knees, elbows, abdomen and lower back. It can also be found on the scalp, hands and feet, nails and mucous membranes.


The cellular renewal process speeds up

We are still unsure as to what precisely causes psoriasis.  Nevertheless, we know that outbreaks of psoriasis may be triggered in individuals who have a genetic predisposition to the disease, when confronted with several factors: 

  • stress
  • overwork
  • a psychological shock
  • clothing that rubs against the skin
  • particular medicines
  • an infection (rhinopharyngitis, pharyngitis...)

Psoriasis is, in fact, caused by chronic inflammation. This inflammation, confirmed by the presence of T lymphocytes, speeds up the cellular renewal process. This accelerates the production of keratinocytes, which are epidermal cells. Rather than the normal 28-day renewal process, these keratinocytes take only 3 or 4 days to go from the basal layer to the epidermal stratum corneum. The cells remain on the skin’s surface and begin to accumulate. This causes red scaly patches to form. Although these psoriatic plaques may sometimes be inconspicuous, at other times they can be much more visible and thus a handicap for the afflicted individual.


Treatments: creams, ointments, phototherapy, spa therapy...

  • Creams, ointments and lotions prescribed by dermatologists help stop the inflammation. They also eliminate excess scales and smooth rough skin. Moreover, moisturising creams are effective in soothing itchiness.
  • Phototherapy, which is also recommended for treating psoriasis, uses UVA, UVB or laser to slow down the production of skin cells.
  • Medicine in the form of tablets is used to treat very severe forms of psoriasis. 
  • Finally, there is another treatment that has proven to be effective: spa therapy. Thermal spa water has healing and anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce the number and size of the lesions.  

    For more information, please contact your dermatologist.

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