What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an immune condition, which causes symptoms on the skin and sometimes the joints.
When a person has psoriasis, their skin replacement process speeds up, taking just a few days to replace skin cells that usually take 21-28 days.
This accumulation of skin cells builds up to form raised ‘plaques’ on the skin, which can also be flaky, scaly, red on caucasian skin, darker patches on darker skin tones, and itchy.
Psoriasis can occur on any area of the body, including the scalp, hands, feet and genitals, although different types tend to occur on different areas.
The skin changes of psoriasis (often known as plaques) are well defined and slightly raised pink or red (can differ in colour depending on your skin colour) areas with silvery-white scales. Many people have just a few plaques but some individuals with moderate to severe psoriasis may have several plaques covering large areas of their body.
The current thinking is that psoriasis affects between 2% and 3% of the UK population- up to 1.8 million people – although this is an estimate.
It affects males and females equally.
Some people will have a family history of the condition, but others may not. A flare-up of psoriasis can be triggered by a number of factors, such as stress or anxiety, injury to skin, hormonal changes, or certain infections or medications.
Treatment And Education Plan
It is estimated that 69% of the population with skin problems self-medicate with £75 million spent every year on over the counter products.
Many people experience waiting for several months to be seen by a specialist in the national health service with the unfortunate risk of ending up in an overbooked and delayed clinic with only 10 minutes available for their consultation.
Long term inflammation of the skin may lead to significant comorbidities such as infections, intolerances and resistance to treatment if not addressed as early as possible.
I have over 10 years’ experience caring for people with psoriasis and I am currently one of the few Nurse-led Principal Investigators leading clinical research studies on psoriasis.
Since 2016 I pioneered a new concept of care and management of patients with moderate to severe psoriasis consisting in patient-centred/holistic approach.
Ensuring patients are aware of the immunological nature of psoriasis and the mechanism of actions of the therapeutic options ensures more involvement, better adherence to treatment and more awareness and early detection of other comorbidities linked to psoriasis (joint involvement; metabolic syndrome; cardiovascular disease).
In a hospital-based feedback questionnaire in 2017, 90% of the patients participating rated the nurse-led service Excellent, and 10% rated it Very Good.
In the first appointment I will dedicate the necessary time to listen, educate and provide an effective management plan that will result cost effective.