Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Psoriasis: Effects don’t always stop with the skin

Date:
January 4, 2010
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Psoriasis, a chronic disease that causes red, raised patches of skin, is increasingly seen as a systemic disease with links to arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

Psoriasis, a chronic disease that causes red, raised patches of skin, is increasingly seen as a systemic disease with links to arthritis and cardiovascular disease. The December issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource provides an overview of this sometimes embarrassing condition, what's known about it and how it's treated. Highlights of the overview include:

Related Articles


Symptoms

Patches of thick, red skin covered with silvery, flaky scales commonly appear on the elbows and knees, but can appear anywhere on the body. They result from skin cells on overdrive, reproducing much faster than normal. Doctors aren't sure why this overproduction occurs, although genetic and environmental factors likely play roles. Psoriasis symptoms come and go and flare in response to triggers that can include infections, some medications, alcohol, smoking, stress, sunburn, skin irritation or injury.

A systemic illness

Doctors are finding that psoriasis is more than a skin disorder. About one in four people with psoriasis develop a form of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Studies have shown that people with psoriasis face a higher risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. The underlying link may be chronic inflammation, which plays a role in psoriasis and heart disease.

Treatment

While psoriasis can't be cured, a variety of topical and systemic treatment options can help control the condition. For mild-to-moderate psoriasis, topical treatments often are effective. Options include corticosteroids or retinoids to reduce inflammation; vitamin D analogs to slow skin growth; and tar, to reduce scaling, itching and inflammation. Calcineurin inhibitors (tacrolimus and pimecrolimus) can help reduce inflammation and skin cell buildup.

In addition, ultraviolet light slows the rapid growth of skin cells. Ultraviolet light therapy may be used alone or in combination with other treatments. Several systemic medications are used for severe forms of psoriasis, though these options pose the risk of serious side effects.

Self-help measures

Home-care measures can help prevent or manage symptoms. A daily bath removes scales and calms inflamed skin. Adding bath oil, colloidal oatmeal, Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts can offer additional relief. After bathing, applying a thick moisturizing cream or ointment, such as petroleum jelly, can be helpful. During cold, dry weather, it's beneficial to apply moisturizer several times a day. Short sessions in sunlight three or more times a week can improve psoriasis, as can avoiding known triggers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Psoriasis: Effects don’t always stop with the skin." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091231112223.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2010, January 4). Psoriasis: Effects don’t always stop with the skin. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091231112223.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Psoriasis: Effects don’t always stop with the skin." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091231112223.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins