Psoriasis

Psoriasis is one of the most common skin diseases. The condition is characterised by red patches of skin covered in scales. This is a genetic disease which can be triggered, for example, by infections, medication or stress.

Overview

Psoriasis is one of the most common skin diseases. The condition is characterised by red patches of skin covered in scales. This is a genetic disease which can be triggered, for example, by infections, medication or stress. Good skin care and a healthy lifestyle can have a preventive effect.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • Red patches of skin with white scales
  • Typically on the elbows, knees, palms, soles of the feet, hairy scalp, genitals and tailbone
  • Changes to the nails (discolouration, ridges or grooves in the nails, nail separates from nail bed, etc.)
  • Itching

Other symptoms

  • Joint pain and swelling (psoriatic arthritis), which can affect small and large joints and even the spinal column

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Genetic condition

Triggers include:

  • Mechanical friction such as rubbing or pressure
  • Infectious diseases, in particular caused by streptococcus bacteria
  • Medication (e.g. beta blockers, lithium preparations, anti-malaria drugs)
  • Emotional strain, stress
  • Alcohol

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Examination of the entire skin
  • Possibly a biopsy
Possible therapies
  • Ointments that lift the scales (e.g. containing urea, salicylic acid)
  • Anti-inflammatory ointments (e.g. containing cortisone)
  • Light therapy (known as phototherapy)
  • Medication (for severe cases, e.g. high-dosage vitamin A)

What can I do myself?

  • Good skin care (hydrating skin products)
  • Nail care
  • Sunlight and salt water are usually good for the skin
  • A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, sufficient exercise and weight control have a positive effect on the progression of the disease

When to see a doctor?

  • Psoriasis occurs for the first time
  • Substantial worsening of existing psoriasis

Further information

Swiss Psoriasis and Vitiligo Society (SPVG/SSPV Schweizerische Psoriasis und Vitiligo Gesellschaft)
www.spvg.ch

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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