Psoriasis is a chronic disease characterized by skin lesions and, to a lesser extent, by joint lesions. According to rough estimates, the pathology affects 2% of the world population. About 25 million patients are registered today only in Europe and America. A comprehensive treatment of psoriasis includes the external, internal medication therapy and physiotherapy. Compliance with treatment regimen and diet is of great importance when combating the disease.
Local drugs are prescribed to all patients to reduce inflammation and flaking of the skin. The drugs of salicylic acid, sulfur, zinc, tar, calcipotriol and corticosteroids are commonly used. To restore the skin structure, it is desirable to use the moisturizers and emollients continuously.
When prescribing systemic medications, the type of psoriasis, the nature of skin lesions, the patient's age and availability of co-morbidities are considered.
Various sedatives help reducing the increased nervous excitability. If the patient is in a heavy psychological condition, s/he may be prescribed the ataraxic drugs and antidepressants.
Upon pronounced itching, the antihistamines are indicated. As regards the existing drugs, the drugs of the 3rd or 4th generation are usually recommended; they do not cause drowsiness and allow patients to lead normal life.
Diuretics reducing the swelling of tissues are prescribed for exudative form of psoriasis, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents are prescribed for arthropathic form. In almost all cases, a good effect is produced by immunomodulators and vitamins.
If the disease is characterized by severe course, the physician addresses the issue of using the immunosuppressive agents or biologicals.
The effective physical therapy treatments for psoriasis include:
- PUVA therapy (the psoriatic plaques are treated with photosensitizing drugs and then exposed to UV light),
- selective phototherapy,
- laser and cryotherapy,
- paraffin baths.
Climatotherapy at the resorts of the Black Sea and the Dead Sea coasts also gives positive results.
Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations
The patients are advised to:
- avoid psycho-emotional stress,
- sleep at least 8 hours a day,
- comply with the active motor mode.
The meals should be hypoallergenic. It is required to limit the intake of spicy, salty, smoked and canned products. Eating more often is better, but in small portions.