World Psoriasis Day is marked in more than 50 countries today and is organised by the International Federation of Psoriatic Disease Associations (IFPA)
Every year, World Psoriasis Day is marked on 29 October to raise awareness about the medical condition and its effects. About 125 million people globally are affected by psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune condition that results in the rapid build-up of skin cells, which can also lead to severe comorbidities.
Contrary to common perception, the medical condition is not a non-contagious skin disease, but an autoimmune one where the cells responsible for maintaining the immune system mistakenly attacks it.
World Psoriasis Day is marked in more than 50 countries today and is organised by the International Federation of Psoriatic Disease Associations (IFPA). Most diagnoses of the disease occur in adulthood, with the average onset being between the ages of 15 and 35 years.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
The symptoms of psoriasis include raised, inflamed patches of skin as well as soreness, itching and burning sensations around the patches. The disease also leads to whitish-silver scales on inflamed patches, swollen and painful joints and thick, pitted nails.
Most patients undergo cycles of the medical condition, with the symptoms flaring up and reducing again and again.
About 30 to 33 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes inflammation, pain and swelling in the affected joints, with red, inflamed patches.
What comorbidities can be developed along with psoriasis?
Psoriasis can lead to the development of other medical issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, chronic kidney disease, insulin resistance, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can also develop after a diagnosis of psoriasis.
Tips for people with psoriasis:
People who are suffering from psoriasis can ease their symptoms by following some basic precautions:
- Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet including plants, omega-3 fatty acids, and whole grains can go a long way towards mitigating the symptoms of psoriasis.
- Avoid eating trigger foods: Certain food items such as red meat, processed foods, dairy products, and refined sugar can cause inflammation. Minimising their intake might help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight can reduce the effectiveness of psoriasis treatments and lead to the severity of symptoms increasing. While it is unclear how much psoriasis and weight gain interact, losing weight can help the body remain healthy and mitigate the risks of other comorbidities.
- Reduce stress: Increased stress is a well-known trigger for psoriasis. Techniques such as yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation can help ease stress and reduce the symptoms of psoriasis as well.
- Reducing alcohol intake: Increased consumption of alcohol can also increase the chances of psoriasis symptoms flaring up. To reduce flare-ups of the medical condition, either cut back on your intake of alcohol or quit it entirely.