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Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis is a persistent and chronic skin disease which has a tendency to be genetically inherited. The word comes from ancient Greece, and means "to itch". Red eruptions appear on the surface of the skin and begin to itch. These areas form plaques over the reddened lesions. The plaques resemble multi-layered scales of skin. Psoriasis varies in intensity from a few random spots to a massive outbreak covering the entire body and requiring hospitalization.

UVB is light with a short wavelength that is absorbed in the skin's epidermis. An artificial source can be used to treat mild and moderate psoriasis. Some physicians will start treating patients with UVB instead of topical agents. A UVB phototherapy, called broadband UVB, can be used for a few small lesions, to treat widespread psoriasis, or for lesions that resist topical treatment. This type of phototherapy is normally given in a doctor's office or in the home by using a light panel or light box.

A newer type of UVB, called narrowband UVB, emits the part of the ultraviolet light spectrum band that is most helpful for psoriasis. Narrowband UVB treatment is superior to broadband UVB. It is gaining in popularity because it does help and is more convenient than PUVA. At first, patients may require several treatments of narrowband UVB spaced close together to improve their skin. Once the skin has shown improvement, a maintenance treatment once each week may be all that is necessary.

In some cases, psoriasis is so mild that people don't know they have it. At the opposite extreme, severe psoriasis may cover large areas of the body. Psoriasis cannot be passed from one person to another, though it is more likely to occur in people whose family members have it.

Psoriasis is treated with many techniques, our focus here at Amjo is the treatment using UV "ultraviolet" light as UVA (used with PUVA), UVB (broadband or conventional UVB) and now UVB Narrow Band or UVB narrowband sometimes called UVB 311. UVB 311 comes from the wavelength of UVB Narrowband Phototherapy which is centered around 311 nanometers.

Some of the forms are:

Plaque Psoriasis:  Also known as Psoriasis Vulgaris. The most common form of psoriasis, affecting about 80% of people with the disease. People with plaque psoriasis have raised, red, inflamed areas of skin—called plaques—often on the scalp, knees, elbows, chest, or back. These inflamed plaques of skin are covered by a silvery-white buildup called scale. It will often reoccur and its cause is not fully understood, although it is generally considered to be an auto-immune disease. An auto-immune disease is one where the body has an immune response against one of its own tissues or types of cells.

Guttate Psoriasis: The second most common form of psoriasis, characterized by small, pink or red drops on the skin. This type of psoriasis may cover a large portion of the body and is usually found on the chest, back, arms, or legs. It appears after a bacterial infection such as strep throat, especially in younger patients. Some cases go away without treatment in a few weeks, while many cases are more persistent and require treatment.

 

 

Pustular Psoriasis: Characterized by white pustules (blisters of non-infectious pus) Surrounded by red skin. Affects fewer than 5% of all people with psoriasis.This type of psoriasis is usually seen on the hands and feet, but may also affect larger areas of the body. It may occur in association with erythrodermic psoriasis.

Inverse Psoriasis: This is usually found in skin fold areas, such as the armpits, under the breasts, or folds of skin near the genitals or buttocks. It is more likely to be found in people who are overweight, and is triggered by friction or sweating in skin fold areas. The plaques are red, smooth, dry and large, but do not scale.

Erythrodermic: Ordinarily erythrodermic psoriasis appears on the skin as a widespread reddening and exfoliation of fine scales, often accompanied by severe itching and pain. Swelling may also develop.

 
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Psoriasis can affect many different aspects of people's lives - it is not only coping with the treatment that can be difficult but also coping with other people's reactions to the skin changes.

 
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