Signs & Symptoms
- Red patches of skin covered with loose, silvery scales
- Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning or soreness
- Thickened, pitted or discoloured nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
- Plaques of scales or crust on the scalp
Prevention and Treatment
Although treatments are based on the type and severity of psoriasis and the areas of skin affected, the traditional approach is to start with the mildest treatments and then progress to stronger ones only if necessary. The goal is to find the most effective way to slow cell turnover with the fewest possible side effects.
- Topical treatments such as soap substitutes and moisturisers, including products like Silcock's Base and elave for mild to moderate psoriasis
- Light Therapy (Phototherapy) for moderate psoriasis
- Vitamin D-based treatment — available in creams, ointments and lotions
- Oral or injected medications for moderate to severe disease
- Biologics — drugs that alter the immune system for severe psoriasis
- Take daily baths to help remove scales and calm inflamed skin.
- Pat your skin dry after bathing or showering, then immediately apply a good quality, unscented moisturiser while your skin is still moist. During cold, dry weather, you may need to apply a moisturiser several times a day.
- Coal tar may help reduce appearance and decrease flaking in psoriasis. It is available in shampoos, bath solutions, and creams.
- Expose your skin to small amounts of sunlight. Avoid too much sun and always protect skin with an SPF of at least 30.
- Avoid psoriasis triggers, if possible. Infections, injuries to your skin, stress, smoking, alcohol and intense sun exposure can all worsen psoriasis.
- Combat stress through mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
If you are worried you or your child has psoriasis, please visit your local medical doctor for medical diagnosis and treatment.