Here is a good article on what can make psoriasis worse and what can help. One thing that I did not know was sunburn may make psoriasis worse. One more reason to use sunscreen. Read on for more info....
New Treatments for Psoriasis Sufferers
March 30, 2006
New York, NY (ContentDesk) March 30, 2006 -- An estimated 4.5 million American adults (about 2.1 percent of the population) have been diagnosed with psoriasis, a noncontagious skin disease that causes patches of itchy, red, cracking, painful and scaly skin that sometimes bleeds. If both parents have psoriasis, a child has a 30 percent chance of developing it. About 5 to 10 percent of sufferers also develop psoriatic arthritis, a painful inflammatory arthritis that can cause irreversible joint damage while there is no cure. The severe discomfort and negative body images psoriasis can create can greatly impact a persons quality of life. For those reasons, psoriasis should be treated aggressively. Thats the bad news.
The good news is that there are new treatments available that have fewer side effects than traditional approaches and extend the time between flare-ups, says Joshua Fox, MD, dermatologist and founder of Advanced Dermatology and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery.The most recent innovation is a new ointment that is coming on the market in the United States this spring. On January 10, 2006, the FDA approved the new drug application for Taclonex®, a topical ointment that was previously only available outside the U.S. A combination of calcipotriene and betamethasone dipropionate, the ointment contains a fluorinated corticosteroid to treat inflammation and a form of vitamin D to control cell growth. Studies have shown that it significantly improved mild to severe cases of psoriasis. Taclonex is expected to be available in the U.S.
By June 2006. Up until now, topical steroids and vitamins have been prescribed separately. The use of both treatments in one product will make managing psoriasis much easier, says Dr. Fox. Another major advance is the use of biologics to destroy psoriasis immunologically. While very expensive they often put extensive psoriasis into temporary remission.
Some even help the psoriatic arthritis. These include Amevive and Humira. Use of Narrowband phototherapy (311 nm) and lasers to treat psoriasis have also been meeting with improved results for the appropriate patients. Other developments in psoriasis care demonstrate the importance of preventative care studies. Namely they confirm that cigarette smoking increases the severity of the skin disease, probably because it suppresses the immune system.
These studies show that quitting or reducing cigarette smoking will significantly improve patients ability to manage this disease, notes Dr. Fox. In addition to these new treatment options, Dr. Fox recommends that psoriasis sufferers follow the tried- and-true management techniques:1. Use moisturizing lotions.
Dry skin will make psoriasis worse. Use a humidifier. It is critical to keep your skin moist. Dry, cold air can make symptoms worse.2. Never pick at lesions or scales.
Picking can cause more psoriasis or make it worse. Epsom salts, and oatmeal may help reduce itching and remove scales.3. Bathe carefully with soothing products, such as tar solutions. Avoid excessive bathing or use of washcloths, soaps, cleansers, or scrubs. 4.
Be honest with your doctor about all your medications some can exacerbate psoriasis. If they do, ask about substitutes.5. Stress or infections can cause flare-ups. Be careful when shaving; avoid insect bites, acupuncture and tattoos.6. Get limited amounts of sun 20 minutes a day tops.
(Use sunscreen, as sunburn may make psoriasis worse.) Ultraviolet rays in sunlight slow the growth of skin cells and helps psoriasis. 7. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can worsen psoriasis symptoms.Dr. Fox adds, Many psoriasis sufferers feel that their disease tends to flare-up when they are under stress, drink alcohol or eat unhealthy.
Proved or not, being mindful of these things cant hurt and can only help.Bio: Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D.Joshua L. Fox, M.D., is a leading authority in the field of dermatology with an expertise in skin cancer, cosmetic surgery, and laser procedures. As an official spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Dr. Fox has been an expert resource on dermatologic topics for numerous televisions networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and Telemundo, talk shows, radio stations, newspapers and magazines.
Dr. Fox has served on the board of the National Rosacea Foundation and has done clinical trials in both medical and laser therapy in rosacea. He has received multiple research and clinical awards, including recognition from Top Doctors, Whos Who, Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology, Community Service Award from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the prestigious Husic Award, as well as certificates of recognition for service from multiple hospitals and civic, educational and community organizations. Dr. Fox has authored and presented papers of his research on lasers, cosmetic procedures, stretch marks, scars, skin cancer, bug bites, photosensitivity and various rashes.As founder and director of Advanced Dermatology and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery.
Dr. Fox and associates have expanded the practice to one of the largest in dermatology, laser and cosmetic surgery, with more lasers than any hospital or dermatology practice on the eastern coast.
Dr. Fox is a graduate of the New York University Medical Center of Skin and Cancer and has been on the advisory board of the Psoriasis Foundation and National Rosacea Foundation, among others. He has also been a fellow of many societies, including the International Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology and the Society for Investigative Dermatology.
Dr. Fox is the founder of the AAD Melanoma/Skin Cancer Prevention Program in Queens, New York (since 1987). Dr. Fox has been Chief of Dermatology of several major teaching hospitals, including Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens and Jamaica Medical Center, and is currently on the staff of ten NY area hospitals. Dr. Fox and Advanced Dermatology and The Center for Laser & Cosmetic Surgery have been used as a resource center educating dermatologists, laser surgeons and cosmetic surgeons and others about lasers, cancer and cosmetic surgery. www.advancedd.com..