Did you know an estimated 60 million people have psoriasis worldwide? (National Library of Medicine). The condition affects around 1 in 50 people in the UK (British Skin Foundation).
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease that can cause flaky patches on the skin. Those with psoriasis have an increased production of skin cells which is what causes the build-up of dry scale-like skin. Skin cells are usually made and replaced every 3 to 4 weeks, but with psoriasis, this process only takes about 3 to 7 days. (NHS) The severity of psoriasis varies greatly from person to person; for some, the condition can be just a minor irritation, but for others, it can have a huge impact on their quality of life.
In light of psoriasis awareness month, we caught up with skincare and health experts who very kindly shared some great tips for those with the condition.
Our conversation with Megan Felton, Co-Founder of Lionne:
What simple skincare routine would you recommend for psoriasis-prone skin?
It is always difficult to give blanket advice, and I think in so many cases, this is where those with any inflammatory conditions and skin conditions, in general, go wrong.
I will say that it is vital to ensure that you are simplifying your routine as much as possible, avoiding over-exfoliation (although tempting) and focusing on anti-inflammatory products & ingredients. Exfoliation will still be critical, but it is essential not to overdo it. I like to look at ingredients like Azelaic Acid, Ceramides, and Jojoba Oil, in addition to Clinisoothe+. BHAs have also been shown to work on this condition, that said, be very careful NOT to exfoliate too often, as mentioned above.
Which skincare ingredients should I avoid if I have psoriasis?
I don’t want to ban certain ingredients as blanket advice, but if I did have to choose, I would say try to avoid excess fragrance both in your skincare and body products. Not ALL fragrances will be a trigger, but again without naming products, it is hard to tell you exactly what ingredients to avoid.
Diet and lifestyle are actually what I would look at in much more detail for those with psoriasis - stress & environment can have a significant impact.
Ensure that you are not using household items that may be stripping the skin and be mindful of the shampoo that you are using - anything that makes the skin feel dry/tight afterwards will be a no-go.
How serious is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common non-contagious disorder of the keratinocyte life cycle that can appear all over the body. It is common on the scalp as well! 2% of the population have this condition - but awareness is growing due to celebs like Kim Kardashian speaking out about it.
Psoriasis occurs equally in men and women, can appear at any age, and tends to come and go with things like stress, environmental changes and diet.
Below are a few key triggers of psoriasis:
- When our skin is overly dehydrated, it is more likely to have a compromised barrier, which means that external irritants can trigger an immune response more quickly.
- Stress also has a huge impact on psoriasis.
- Certain medications and steroids can trigger this condition - if you know you have psoriasis make your GP/Dr. aware before taking new prescription drugs.
- Smoking is a HUGE trigger.
- Alcohol and heavy drinking.
- Cold/dry weather.
- All this said, don’t let knowing these triggers stress you out even more! I know this seems like a vicious cycle.
At Lionnne, we advise maintaining a balanced diet high in antioxidants and doing your best to manage stress levels. Avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake. Take Omega 3 and 6 fish oil as well as Vitamin D supplements.
Our conversation with Dr Christine Hall:
What's the difference between psoriasis and eczema?
Whilst psoriasis and eczema are both conditions linked to a person’s immune system, they are two different conditions.
Psoriasis is a condition caused by an overactive immune system which inflames the whole body and makes skin cells grow faster. This results in the appearance of ‘plaques’ - the well-defined, red, scaly rash that is often seen on the outside of elbows, knees and in the hairline. Whilst psoriasis is sometimes itchy it is more often described by sufferers as having a stinging or burning sensation. Due to the effects on the whole body, some sufferers will go on to develop arthritis and other conditions that affect the whole body.
There are 7 different types of eczema but the commonest by far is atopic eczema. A person with ‘atopy' is someone who is more prone to allergies and as a result, they might suffer from hay fever and/or asthma alongside eczema. When an eczema sufferer is exposed to an allergen or irritant such as detergent, it again triggers the immune system which causes inflammation resulting in intensely itchy, dry and sometimes cracked patches of skin. The most common areas that eczema effects are the inside of the elbows and behind the knees where it appears as a dry, red rash.
Is psoriasis curable?
Psoriasis isn’t curable but it is treatable. There are a whole host of effective medications and treatments that will improve symptoms and keep psoriasis under control for the majority of sufferers.
Is psoriasis contagious?
No, psoriasis is not contagious. It is a condition triggered by an individual’s own immune system.
Clinisoothe+ and Psoriasis
Clinisoothe+ is made of a gentle formula that has a skin neutral pH and can be applied anywhere on the face and body. It has 7 benefits in 1: it purifies, cleanses, balances, protects, recovers, calms and soothes. Clinisoothe+ also promotes rapid recovery from irritation and inflammation, making it ideal for psoriasis-prone skin. The spritz bottle is perfect for on the go, for when you are particularly struggling or experiencing a flare-up. Find out more and shop here.
Try Clinisoothe+ Skin Purifier, a gentle product to add to your skincare routine. Simply spritz your skin after cleansing and allow the product to soothe redness or irritation.
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