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Video

Dr Dawn:
Psoriasis is a common skin condition affecting about 2% of the population. It’s characterised by skin cells which reproduce too quickly. It’s not contagious, but it does often run in families. For some it can be a minor condition with a little irritation but for others the scaling and psychological upset can be so horrendous that it can has a major impact on their lives.

The most common form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. This produces dry red lesions on the skin known as plaques, which are often covered in silver scales. 80% of psoriasis sufferers have this form. The plaques can be itchy, sore or both and in severe cases the skin can crack and bleed. We don’t fully understand what causes psoriasis but stress, physical or emotional, and infections can set it off.

One in ten sufferers will also develop a form of arthritis, most commonly involving the fingers or the spine. I wish I could say there was a cure for psoriasis. Sadly there isn’t, it’s a long lasting disease that can return at any time. But there are a range of treatments that can help improve even the severest of symptoms.

Usually for mild to moderate psoriasis, topical treatments are prescribed. Creams containing steroids or vitamin D analogues are also useful, and in severe cases specialists use special UV light therapy to treat the condition. In very resistant cases and under the supervision of a hospital dermatologist, oral or injected medication may be prescribed.

Treatments are based on the type of psoriasis you have, its severity, and the area of skin involved. If you’ve got psoriasis and have been given a treatment but don’t feel it’s working you must go back to your GP. There really are lots of different treatment options available so you and your doctor may need to work together to find the best treatment for you. It may take some time but it will be worth it.

Read the video transcript

Quick Health Advice: Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common skin condition affecting 2% of the UK population. In this exclusive video, Dr Harper explains the symptoms and causes of this long-lasting disease, which can seriously impact the lives of sufferers, both physically and emotionally. She also talks through a number of treatments to alleviate symptoms, which can offer sufferers a relief from this unsightly condition.

If you think your child has psoriasis, check our condition guide for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

As noted, proper moisturization is key. When psoriasis appears on the male organ, this can be a challenge. Using a superior penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) with natural hydrators like shea butter and vitamin E can be a big help in keeping the skin healthy.





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I've had it since the age of 16 it now covers 60 to 70 percent of my body scalp face neck ears stomach chest side of body legs also one a year for about a month on my hand feet it's very itchy at times and very sore on my side my doctors are not very helpful just keep offering me creams which don't do anything what else could I do





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Further to my previous message and in response to Melanie, Epsom salts are of course magnesium sulphate. It is the magnesium that gets absorbed by the skin and this is why it has traditionally been used to sooth muscle pain. It also helps to treat psoriasis and other skin problems. What works even better is to spray on magnesium oil (actually saturated magnesium chloride solution). You can get it from health food shops or you can buy the magnesium chloride crystals and make your own, Just dissolve it in hot water until no more will dissolve. Also eat more raw greens. Magnesium is part of the chlorophyll molecule! :)





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Hi. I am 57 and have suffered from psoriasis since I was 15 (42 years). It started on my scalp and then spread to other areas when I was in my twenties, including my nails. I have had the various treatments for it under the NHS, which work for short periods. In recent years it has not troubled me so much although for the past 9 years I have also developed psoriatic arthritis. Several years ago I became vegetarian and tried to reduce my saturated fat intake and I think this helped my skin. I still had a few psoriasis patched that would not go away though. The last few weeks I have been using magnesium oil (actually magnesium chloride solution) - available from health food shops. This is the same mineral that is abundant in the Dead Sea - where people find improvement in their psoriasis. The 'oil' is sprayed onto the body and is easily absorbed by the skin (more effectively than taking it internally apparently). The good news is that all my remaining patches of psoriasis have just faded away! Even my nails seem to be improving. It seems that we don't get enough magnesium in our diets these days because we don't eat enough fresh greens (magnesium is the central atom of the chlorophyll molecule) - so a vegetarian or vegan diet might also help. Magnesium is required for over 300 processes in the human cell and especially in heart muscle, which takes it from other parts of the body when it is short of it. So Magnesium oil has numerous other benefits. It can dissolve anxiety and depression and, sufferers of psoriasis will know that this can be a problem too. Anyone get heart palpitations? Mine have all stopped. :)





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they say that psoriasis is suppose to itch right? I have been to the dr. And he said I have a severe case of it and that he can no longer do anything to help me. This has not itched since I got it 9 months ago. Could it be something else? This is on my back,chest,arms,waist and now my legs. It seems like when one area starts to clear up a little it starts somewhere else.





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Guys with psoriasis on the male organ have an especially hard time finding products to help, but a penile health creme with vitamin A and E could be a good solution.





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hi i have had psoriasis for 22 years now and i am covered head to toe, ive had near all medications on the nhs and they start working but then they stop, at the moment is it very sore and it is affecting my joints, is there anything out there that can help me clear it up or is there anyway i soothe the psoriasis so that when i put cream on it doesnt burn for 15 - 30 minutes before soothing?





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Hi, I've had psoriasis for 26 years. Used to be bad but now very much under control. Has your doctor ever prescribed Methotrexate? This clears it up and has a 75% success rate with the joint problem. Do note it is sometimes referred to as chemo in a tablet - it is part of chemo treatment for cancer but can be ueed for your type of problem. I was on it for about 6 weeks begore I started having side effects - liver problems. But still, it left my skin clear for about two years. There are other drugs out there but your dr needs to start here (if not done so already).

I have psoariasis and I've been on the sunbeds for two days and my skin is burning and it's painful to put clothes on and even lay down to go bed it hurts so bad. Should I go see a doctor





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Neem, neem, neem! I can't stress how important this stuff is in relation to scalp psoriasis - to the extent the psoriasis.org endorse it's use for treatment. I discovered it quite by accident and have found that any shampoo (preferably those without parabens) containing neem is effective in keeping psoriasis under control, and generally soothes the itch from the first wash - the dandruff will take a few days of consistent washing to clear but then you should be able to cut down on the amount of hair washing you need to do if you don't like to wash your hair everyday. Only downside is that the shampoos tend to be quite drying to the hair but employing a good conditioner is a big help. There are several brands out there.....just look up neem shampoo. Good luck





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The itching associated with psoriasis can be burdensome; using a top grade penis health crème with superior moisturizers (shea butter, for example) can make a significant difference for many.





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