Psoriasis can be a psychological burden tips for treatment

Disease complaints skin psoriasis support groupOften not only the body suffers from psoriasis, but also the soul. Chronic skin disease can increase the risk of depression. Therefore, it is important to understand physical and mental signals. Holistic dermatological treatment can well contain psoriasis.

Psoriasis can be a psychological burden tips for treatment

Red, silvery scaly patches on elbows, hands or knees, plus burning or itching: many people with psoriasis not only suffer from the actual symptoms, but also experience feelings of shame and exclusion. The inflammatory scaly areas on the skin, called plaques, can also appear behind the ears, on the scalp or on the feet and cannot always be concealed. The ups and downs of the course of the disease also cause stress, because psoriasis occurs in episodes that are difficult to predict.

Not only the body suffers

Dr. Dagmar Wilsmann-Theis, head of the psoriasis specialist consultation at the University Hospital in Bonn, is familiar with the mental complaints that psoriasis brings with it: "These include poor sleep due to the itching, for example, but also therapies that do not work or are very time-consuming, or the constant fear of a new wave of psoriasis."

The causes of psoriasis are not one hundred percent clear to date. Although there is a hereditary predisposition, it does not necessarily lead to the onset of the disease. Stress and other psychological strains are among the triggers that can trigger disease flare-ups.

Exclusion and withdrawal

Although psoriasis is not contagious, the skin symptoms often cause rejection. Many sufferers are also uncomfortable with questions and looks. Often it is difficult for them to explain the symptoms, because the disease is very complex. "The most stressful thing for those affected is the negative reactions from their environment," confirms Dr. Wilsmann-Theis. "Many of them develop so-called self-stigmatization as a result of this stigmatization, which means that they increasingly avoid others. They eventually withdraw even from those who accept them and their condition, such as their partner or their own family. Your self-esteem drops extremely. Even depression can develop."

Depression is not the only possible concomitant disease of psoriasis. About one third of psoriasis patients develop psoriatic arthritis, which in the worst case can lead to joint destruction. Other frequent concomitant diseases are obesity, diabetes, lipometabolic disorders and vascular inflammation. Also the risk for heart attacks. Strokes is higher in psoriasis.

Psoriasis and psyche

People with untreated psoriasis are therefore physically and psychologically at risk. Dr. Wilsmann-Theis therefore pursues a holistic approach to treatment: "In everyday life, mindfulness can help to keep the psyche in balance. In addition, being open with others about the disease, learning to accept and live with it. An intact social environment can help, but so can a self-help group or psychotherapy."Regional self-help groups are run, for example, by the Deutsche Psoriasis Bund e.V.

In addition to the psyche, nutrition also plays an important role in psoriasis therapy. "Those affected should pay attention to normal weight and eat a diet as low in fat, sugar and meat as possible, with plenty of vegetables, fish and fruit," explains Dr. Wilsmann-Theis. In addition, the physician advises: "Avoid alcohol as much as possible! Alcohol can trigger psoriasis, as can smoking."

The treatment of psoriasis depends on the severity of the disease, which is determined at the beginning of the therapy. For this purpose, it is examined how many body parts are affected by psoriasis. Also the psychological well-being plays an important role, the severity increases with the psychological symptoms of the Psoriasis. Depending on their personality, they may experience. Life situation can be pronounced differently.

A visit to the dermatologist is worthwhile

The psychological situation is strongly related to the skin symptomatology. The more invisible psoriasis is, the better most sufferers feel. Even mild symptoms should therefore be treated with ointments. Creams are treated. In some medical practices, patients can also make regular appointments for irradiation with UV light.

Basic medications are the next step in treatment. They inhibit the immune response, which is overdriven in psoriasis patients. Because the immune system classifies the body's own ties as dangerous invaders, it triggers inflammation, which leads to accelerated division of the skin cells. The visible symptoms of the disease therefore begin inside the body.

"In moderate and severe forms, regular and permanent medication with system therapies, which also include the well-performing biologics, is advisable," explains Dr. Wilsmann-Theis. Biologics are biotechnologically produced active ingredients that specifically intervene in the immune response and block antibodies that are responsible for the inflammation. Through regular injections of biologics, many psoriasis patients can live symptom-free.

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