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Conditions

Psoriasis

Psoriasis

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Our skin has a life cycle, which is nothing unusual. In a process that normally takes around 21 to 28 days, new skin cells are constantly being produced and old skin flakes off. However, when your skin cells reproduce too quickly (taking only 2-6 days) you’re left with psoriasis – a skin condition that affects around 2% of the UK population. Cells build up rapidly on the surface of the skin causing red, flaky, crusty patches covered with silvery scales to appear, which can occur on any part of the body, but are most commonly found on the elbows, knees, lower back and the scalp. It’s not contagious, but it can cause intense itching and burning and can deflate your self-esteem if your condition is severe. There is no cure for this condition, but it can be effectively treated.

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive case video on psoriasis >

If your child is suffering from psoriasis, check our condition guide especially for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

What the Men in White Coats Say

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Hi, I'm 25 and have been suffering with psoriasis for 12 months now. I have tried multiple creams, steroids, changing foods and nothing is helping. I am also a type 1 diabetic and a trainee solicitor. My job is stressful but I cannot change that. My doctor said my psoriasis was triggered due a throat infection. I am awaiting an appointment with a dermatologist and wondered if anyone could advise me of any tricks or creams or methods that have worked for them? I am covered head to toe and would appreciate any help.





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Hi Sarah-Jayne, I too have Psoriasis, it started when I was 21 and was planning our wedding. I was referred to a dermatologist who started me off with an emollient cream (different ones can be purchased from boots), I also used a bath ointment (Oilatum bath formular and Dermol bath emmollient)when my skin was cracking and sore, this helped ease the pain a little. It can get very painful when it cracks and bleeds. I really struggled with mine as I was covered from head to toe. On my body i used coal tar soap on my skin and neutrogena t gel shampoo on my hair (it all smells a bit old lady like but it helped a little). My dermatologist started me on light treatment when the creams were having no effect and after a year he changed to pills like ciclosporin and may others which also had no effect on my skin. I was in bits and it took me 4 years of trying different pills and eventually I was referred to a professor in the field, who I love to this day. He helped me petition the hospital to get Immuno-suppressants and I am now on 2 weekly injections of Humira (sales name) and I am pleased to say I am now clear. It was a long old haul but my life is back on track. As you are Type 1, I do not know if you would be able to go down this route, but many people find something that works for them a lot earlier down the line, so I hope you do too. I would also suggest you use perfume and strong scents on your clothes rather than you skin. Moisturise every day morning and night with a plain emollient cream. Drink plenty of water too as this help the skin. I wish you all the luck in finding a happy solution, but don't be deterred if something does not work, go back again and again until you do find something that does work.

Hi I have suffered with psoriasis 54 of my 55 years. The single most important factor in addition to medicine or ointments is to MOISTURISE your whole skin every day as often as possible, at least twice as a minimum. I believe that some dietary changes work for some, and using unfragranced bath and shower products and moisturisers is soothing on inflamed and or dry skin. I use black sea rock salt in my bath water and find this calms angry red lesions even though it can sting a little. But you must MOISTURISE MOISTURISE and MOISTURISE again to keep yourself more comfortable. I have felt ugly and grotesque most of my life but I will say that if someone loves you, they don't see it the same as you. I suffered low confidence and low self esteem but I have learnt that if you can show confidence then others will see you for you, not as "the one with psoriasis". If I see someone staring I explain to them what it is and that it is not contagious. They can react with embarrassment but it breaks the ice to have the conversation. There are not many people these days that do not know a friend or family member who suffers with psoriasis. So please don't waste your life worrying what others think as each and every one of them has something that they don't like about themselves. It may be something worse than psoriasis or life threatening, and I have learned to thank God that I don't suffer from the multitude of health issues that others have the misfortune to suffer. There is always someone worse off. The less you focus on your psoriasis, the less others will notice. I know this can be difficult in your low times, but keep going and keep going back to your doctor until you find something that works for you. I hope you do. Best wishes. Susy-d

I think I have psoriasis by the look of it but ot weaps a clear fluid and i get qhat looks like spots around it but the doctors can't tell me straight what it is I have several patches of it and I have tried lots of different creams I have even had steroid cream and nothing seem to be getting rid of it any help would be amazing





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My boyfriend has it really bad and his self-esteem has really gone down and I want to help him. How did you get it under control and what treatment would you recommend I really want to help him.





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Hi I'm 27 I've had psoriasis for 8years now I'm head to toe in it, I've tryed alsorts of things it just seems to be getting worse I've lost my self esteem I won't wear anything that shows any part of my skin I'm really depressed I just don't no what to do anymore I've spent loads of money trying to get rid of this nasty cling on I've give in now please some one tell me something that will help get rid or at least calm it down abit 😢X





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i want to say a big thank you to doctor Phillip who has been my helper i've had psoriasis for good 9 years and feel kinda ashamed of myself in public but thanks to the doctor that helped me cure it i didn't believe i never thought i could be able to get rid of it because i have spent so much going to different medical centre for treatment and it all result to same situation i am writing this because i am trying to help others know some one like Dr Phillip exist





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Could my metal hips have anything to do with my psorisis





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My psoriasis specialist gave my some instructions, Zinc in your 2 litres of filtered water everyday. Lots of green leafy vegetables. Avoid a diet with acid Use moisterisers everyday. I still have psoriasis but it has gone in certain places like my face and most of my back. I swim in the ocean every chance i get and got some sun. Wash with goat soap and take fish oil. Its a little disheartining when your told there is no cure! Dave





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I have had Psoriasis for thirty years and I have been told it's because my body is too acidic by a medical researcher and he advised my to take a teaspoon of baking powder everyday in a tumbler of water-I have been following this daily since New Year and it has controlled the itching which had got really bad and it I has started to make my skin gradually get better. It makes me quite depressed and I'm sick of shedding skin everywhere! I will also recommend the Vaseline spray on skin conditioner after showering because it's easy to use it doesn't cure it but it does help a lot with the dryness and is very easy to use. When I use it I can spray it all over my body and I don't need to rub it in the body absorbs the moisture and it doesn't ruin my clothes like lots of the other special creams that I've used over the years. Will also try tha Body Shop coconut cream. I'm told my condition is worse because I have several sever medical conditions including advanced kidney disease and take a lot of medication this wasn't the case though when I first starting getting psoriasis- medications have made it a lot worse over the years.





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Hello , my partner has had psoriasis for 7 years now , it covers his body from literally head to toe he's had creams , tablets , light treatments all prescribed from his GP but nothing has yet got it under control . This is really becoming an issue for him , it has lowered his self esteem and he is becoming depressed .. Can anyone tell me of any treatment they have had success with ? I see one embarrassing bodies episode where a man was covered head to toe the same as my partner and they gave him something that cleared it completely , please any help or advice will be appreciated .





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my father had relatively severe psoriasis for over ten years and creams/light treatment did nothing for it. Then after many visits to a doctor he got a prescribtion for drug called HUMIRA. It's an injection and it is quite expensive but it worked for him. Nowadays he has onluy little spots on his knuckles.

Use lime juice to wash your body you can put it in your water before you bats water.

Hi, I have had psoriasis since i was 3 (i am not 21). Mine is not too bad it doesn't itch or anything but it can get quite red and embarrassing. When I was younger I had it on my armpits, elbows, knees, toes and ankles. Now I only have it only my elbows and a very small amount at that. I had used every cream there was, and nothing worked, until I started using the coconut scented body butter from the body shop. It was nothing to do with treating my psoriasis, and I had used many before that had no effect on it (I just love body butter!), but with this one I noticed a huge difference. Within about a month all of the psoriasis on my knees, ankles and armpits had disappeared and my elbows had really cleared up. I've used it for about 3 years now and those areas have never come back. I have just recently started using E45 again on my elbows in addition to body butter because I feel like this helps, my elbows were always my worst area and maybe they just need a little extra! I'm hoping in a short while I will be psoriasis free but I wanted to share this as I cannot stress enough how much it has worked for me and how much happier I am now - I tell everybody I know who suffers from psoriasis! Just a note it is ONLY the coconut body butter from the body shop, not any other flavour as such and ONLY the body shop one - I've tried many cheaper versions from other shops to no effect (it even starts coming back when I do this). Plus, the body shop does often have deals so it's fine and it's worth it to me anyway. Please try it, I'd love to know if it works for other people too!





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Psoriasis is a skin condition in which skin cells reproduce too quickly. It affects around 2% of people in the UK. Read More »

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