There are five things you may not know about psoriasis, a condition with no cure that impacts over seven-million people in the US, including distinct health risks for seniors.
When it comes to living with psoriasis, Senior Living Experts has you covered with comprehensive information pertaining to dermatologists and other providers in your area. Did you know that over seven-million people in the US live with psoriasis? The symptoms can range from mild to severe and is frequently seen with co-occurring medical conditions, increasing the health risks for many sufferers.
Five things you may not know about Psoriasis are:
Psoriasis is serious
Psoriasis is no laughing matter; it is a serious chronic inflammatory disease that has no known cure. Psoriasis typically affects adults, including seniors that may experience joint-pain, called psoriatic arthritis. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type, which impacts about 80% of those diagnosed and that manifests in patches of inflamed, red skin with scaling skin. Usually, people with psoriasis notice the outbreaks on knees, elbows, hands, feet, and scalp. Approximately 20% of those with psoriasis have severe conditions with more than 5% of their body afflicted with these often-itchy, irritating skin-patches.
It is not unusual for people with psoriasis to also have other diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or depression.
Many things can trigger psoriasis
Psoriasis has been shown to have a strong genetic link, and if one of your parents suffered from psoriasis, there is a good chance that you will, too. Outbreaks can be triggered by habits and lifestyle, which may lead to long periods of remission for many patients that choose to change specific daily habits that could be contributing to their condition. Some outbreak-triggers include:
- People that have recurring infections, like strep throat, may be at a greater risk of psoriasis. Also, anyone with viral or bacterial infections, like HIV, are more likely to contract this condition.
- Many prescription medications could be contributing to your outbreaks or causing an initial flare-up of psoriasis. Talk to your doctor about any noticeable signs of psoriasis when first noticed.
- Anything that impacts your immune system could trigger psoriasis, including stress.
- Sensitivities and allergies are another risk-factor for psoriasis and could impact the severity and frequency of your symptoms.
- If you are overweight, you are more at risk for contracting psoriasis. It is not uncommon for obese patients to develop psoriasis patches and lesions in the folds and creases of their skin.
- Did you know that where you live could cause or irritate psoriasis? The climate, weather, and air-quality all can cause, trigger, and impact psoriasis.
- It is reported that smoking increases your risk of psoriasis as well as contributes to the severity of your symptoms.
There is no cure
There is no cure for psoriasis but lifestyle changes may impact the severity of your outbreaks and the frequency of your symptoms; for example, losing weight or moving to a different climate could impact your psoriasis. This condition is also treated with topical agents and phototherapy in more severe instances.
Seniors face additional risks
There are additional risk factors and health repercussions that exist for seniors with Psoriasis. It can be difficult to control elderly-onset psoriasis due to co-occurring medical conditions and medication risks specific to seniors. Physicians and providers may find themselves in the position of having to sacrifice treatment for mild-to-moderate psoriasis in light of addressing other serious medical issues, as medications often exacerbate and initiate psoriasis symptoms. Seniors living with psoriasis also have increased incidence of heart disease, obesity, and lymphoma. Additionally, psoriasis patients are also at a higher incidence of depression, suicide, and unhealthy habits, such as smoking or excessive drinking. Psoriasis takes a toll on the psyche, as well, and it is estimated that 50% of psoriasis patients also suffer from depression, which can be particularly troubling and difficult to treat among seniors.
There is a World Psoriasis Day
Make a note: October 29th is World Psoriasis Day, initiated by the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA). The aim of this recognition is trifold: to raise awareness, disseminate information, and to give those living with psoriasis a voice in the understanding and treatment of this chronic disease. It may also help bring people together, both to relegate the stereotypes and social anxiety associated with psoriasis, as well as to create a supportive network that can improve the quality of life for those living with this disease.
How can Senior Living Experts help?
Do you have symptoms of psoriasis? A dermatologist is the best provider to contract for diagnosis and treatment of symptoms associated with psoriasis. Senior Living Experts is at the helm of healthcare, helping patients navigate, network, and find the resources, providers, and answers that they need. Find a provider to address your psoriasis and to offer solutions that impact the severity, frequency, and stigma of this serious medical condition.