Psoriasis: what is it and what can you do about it?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that affects more than 8 million Americans. People who suffer from this disease experience many complaints such as itching, red skin and flakes. Psoriasis is not contagious and hereditary factors play a major role in the disease. It has been found, for example, that if both parents suffer from this skin disease, the child has a 50% chance of also developing psoriasis.

In humans, the skin is constantly being renewed slowly. The old skin cells die slowly and are released on the outside of the skin. New skin cells gradually form underneath and grow into new skin. It takes a normal person about 30 days to shed the old skin cells and let the new ones grow. This process happens to everyone and this actually happens without you noticing. People with psoriasis have a problem with this process. Instead of this process taking about 30 days, this process is greatly accelerated in people with psoriasis and only takes 6 to 7 days. This causes that the skin cells do not have enough time to die and fall off the skin, causing them to accumulate on the skin. This causes a lot of irritation and itching because these skin flakes often get inflamed.

What are the different types of psoriasis?

There are a number of different types of psoriasis. Each type is characterized by the presence of psoriasis in certain places on the body.

Psoriasis vulgaris

This is the most common type of psoriasis. In this type, psoriasis occurs primarily on the elbows, knees and back. Typical for this type is that the spots often appear symmetrical.

Psoriasis capitis

With this type of psoriasis, the spots are mainly on the hairy scalp, around the hairline and behind the ears. Psoriasis on the scalp causes a lot of itching, flakes and irritation. Although psoriasis on the scalp is very similar to eczema, there are a number of differences: the plaques on the scalp are random and vary in size. The flaking can also occur more in certain places and be larger. Whereas with eczema the flakes are often loose, with psoriasis they often stick to the scalp.

Psoriasis inversa

In people who suffer from Psoriasis Inversa, most spots occur in the body folds. Like the armpits, groins, inside of the elbows and the pubic area.

Can psoriasis be cured?

There is no therapy/treatment that can completely cure psoriasis. In all cases the treatment of psoriasis involves symptom control. Since psoriasis is expressed by plaques and flakes on the scalp and skin and is therefore often visible, it can have a negative effect on your self-confidence. Fortunately, you can reduce the flakes and itch yourself by using the right products.

What kind of shampoo should I use?

There are a number of shampoos on the market that have a positive effect on psoriasis capitis. These shampoos contain, for example, the ingredients climbazole, zinc pyrithione or salicylic acid.

Is a scalp conditioner important after washing the hair and scalp?

After washing the hair and scalp it is important to neutralize the acidity (pH value) of the scalp, this can be done by means of a scalp conditioner. This soothes the sensitive scalp and ensures a proper moisture balance of the skin.