Updated 12 July 2018

7 things you didn’t know about psoriasis

People with psoriasis suffer from the presence of unsightly red, scaly plaques, often on highly visible areas of the body.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease where skin cells are produced about eight times faster than normal – but the rate at which old cells slough off remains unchanged.

This causes cells to build up on the skin's surface, forming thick, red patches, covered with flaky, silvery-white dead skin cells called scales.

The incidence of the disease is more common among Caucasians and the highest prevalence is in Scandinavia and other parts of northern Europe.

First-line treatment of psoriasis is by topical products.

If that fails, there are several other options, including phototherapy which involves application of ultraviolet light; systemic medications that can be taken orally or by means of an injection; as well as biologic drugs.

No need to hide

People suffering from psoriasis are encouraged to come out of hiding, and one of the best ways to manage psoriasis is to join a community that understands. The South African Psoriasis Association aims to help psoriasis sufferers in South Africa.

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Image credits: iStock