Psoriasis – what you should know

Psoriasis - what you should know -

Unpredictable, irritating, and puzzling, psoriasis is a multifactorial inherited autoimmune skin condition, where the skin cells multiply up to 10 times faster than normal, resulting in red and white scaling (plaques) when the cells reach the surface and die. Scientists are only now beginning to understand the exact mechanism behind these accelerated skin cells and believe that genetics and environmental factors play a part in this chronic, but a non-contagious skin condition.

What are the symptoms?

Psoriasis - image of normal skin against skin with psoriasis - motherhooddiaries

(Image taken from

You will likely have one or more of the following symptoms if you suffer from psoriasis:

  • Dry, cracked skin that may start to bleed
  • Raised red areas of skin with silvery scales (plaques)
  • These red areas may itch or be sore. You may feel a burning sensation too
  • Thick, pitted fingernails
  • If you suffer from psoriasis on your legs, you may experience swelling of your ankles, due to poor circulation. Heels and toes can also become cracked and swollen.

The science behind psoriasis

Doctors are not entirely sure about why some people get psoriasis, but they do know how the disease works. The white blood cells called the T lymphocytes, or T cells, are the cells that go around your body and fight off bacteria and viruses, to stop you from getting sick. But, when someone has psoriasis, their T cells start attacking their healthy skin and their immune system responds by making new skin cells and white blood cells. However, the dead skin and white blood cells cannot shed quickly enough and therefore they build up on the surface and then turn to scales as the skin cells die. The important thing to note here is that psoriasis is not contagious, so you are not at risk of catching it from anyone. Genes are a huge factor here, however, the environment has a part to play too. Certain medicines, feeling unwell, cold weather and stress may trigger off a flare up.

(Image taken from World Psoriasis Day 2015 video on YouTube)

How to treat psoriasis

Psoriasis on legs - motherhooddiaries

(Image taken from

Different treatments work for different people, so it is best to speak to your doctor about what works for your skin. You will either be prescribed some medicine (in the form of a cream, lotion or ointment) or phototherapy. Light therapy includes exposing the affected skin to some natural ultraviolet light. A little sunlight can help to alleviate some skin flares up, however, be mindful that too much sun could make psoriasis worse. Also, keeping your skin – especially your feet – as clean and as fresh as possible is the key to managing psoriasis. For feet, footwear should be light and comfortable throughout the year. During the winter, you should keep your feet as warm as possible, especially if you suffer from poor circulation in the legs.

Can changing your diet help?

Being overweight has also been known to be a factor because psoriasis can break out where the excess skin folds. Some psoriasis suffers have claimed that the infamous paleo diet (where you follow the diet our ancestors had during the Palaeolithic era) is the key to alleviating symptoms of psoriasis. However, results have shown that a personalised diet plan and great exercise works to help keep the body functioning at its best, thus, improving psoriasis symptoms in the long-term.

YouTube is a great way to gain access to lots of information about psoriasis

Head over to YouTube where you can use psoriasis videos to help you understand your skin condition, learn how to treat it, and gain support from other psoriasis sufferers too. Ladies, you can even find a great video on creating a flawless foundation base too!

Track your psoriasis at the touch of a button with MyPso app

MyPso app - psoriasis - motherhooddiaries

(Image taken from

When you get a flare up at any point in the day, it may feel like you are not in control of your psoriasis. So, LEO Pharma has created a free psoriasis treating tracking app, where you can log your symptoms and triggers, map your trends and progress and download results, which will help you to see the ‘bigger picture’ of your psoriasis. MyPso also includes practical advice to make small changes that can have a big impact on your skin. Click here to download the app today.

Take the MINDBOOST questionnaire and get psoriasis support today

Psoriasis can be inherently stressful because of the impact it has on your daily life. So, MINDBOOST created a free customised programme that offers you a series of physical and mental exercises that are grouped into three key areas: confidence, mood and focus. Your progress in each MINDBOOST area is shown on its shield. When you have completed all the exercises in a particular area, your shield will be fully boosted. Take the psoriasis support questionnaire here.

Help raise awareness and join the #DiscoverPsoriasis campaign now

There is a lack of knowledge about psoriasis, which means people around the world are suffering in silence. Spreading the knowledge and raising awareness on the effects of psoriasis in both children and adults can mean that patients feel more understood and accompanied. If you want to help increase awareness, join the campaign now, by writing ‘#DiscoverPsoriasis’ somewhere on your skin, take a picture or make a video, and share one of the two below messages to support people with psoriasis:

Psoriasis important messages - motherhooddiaries

(Image taken from World Psoriasis Day 2015 video on YouTube)


Are you suffering from psoriasis? How do you alleviate your symptoms? And, please do let us know if you will be taking part in the #DiscoverPsoriasis campaign. Hopefully, we can spread the message to the whole world!

Psoriasis - what you should know -

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Leyla Preston (575 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 6. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: