Over six million adults over the age of 20 are affected by psoriasis, a condition where skin cells build up and cause rashes. In recognition of August as Psoriasis Awareness Month worldwide, we are sharing information on the condition to promote awareness. Psoriasis is not contagious and can normally be found on the knees, elbows and scalp, but can appear anywhere on the body. It generally appears as rough, scaly patches, and people who experience psoriasis have described it as creating an itching and burning sensation.
Even though research hasn’t yet determined why psoriasis develops, it is thought to originate in the immune system and caused by genetics. Therefore, if you or a loved one has psoriasis, chances are that some other family members have had the disease as well.
Despite approximately ten percent of the entire population having the genetic predisposition for psoriasis, only as few as two to three percent will actually exhibit symptoms of the skin disease. Specific conditions must be present, both in the genetic makeup and within the individual’s environment, for the disease to appear.
When psoriasis is caused by the immune system, a closer look is needed. Our bodies are designed to fight bad things we encounter when exposed to elements in our environment. Sometimes, however, our immune system fights things within our bodies even when no threat is present. This is how autoimmune issues can develop and, in the case of psoriasis, how the body’s fight against itself can cause lesions on the skin. Also, if a person is already living with inflammatory arthritis, which is an autoimmune response, his or her psoriasis may become more difficult to manage.
Once diagnosed, treatments for creams, shampoos, and moisturizers can be purchased at local drug stores to combat mild psoriasis. In addition to topical medications, doctors may prescribe phototherapy, which uses light therapy to slow the growth of skin cells. At this time, there is no permanent cure for psoriasis.
With the growing senior population, doctors have become aware of an uptick in the number of older adults needing assistance with psoriasis. If you or a loved one is living with moderate to severe psoriasis, a medical professional can prescribe medication to provide some relief.
There is a treatment for every type of psoriasis. Don’t let it affect the quality of life for you or your loved one. If you have a rash that won’t go away, contact your physician as soon as possible as psoriasis can suggest other health issues.
Optimal quality of life for seniors, despite chronic conditions that can develop such as psoriasis, is central to our Balanced Care Method™, a holistic approach to senior care. To learn more about the Method and health and wellness for aging adults, contact your local Client Care Manager at 1-866-454-8346.