Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales.
These patches normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body. Most people are only affected with small patches. In some cases, the patches can be itchy or sore.
Psoriasis affects around 2% of people in the UK. It can start at any age but most often develops in adults under 35 years old, and affects men and women equally.
The severity of psoriasis varies greatly from person to person. For some it’s just a minor irritation but, for others, it can majorly affect their quality of life.
Psoriasis is a long-lasting (chronic) disease that usually involves periods when you have no symptoms or mild symptoms, followed by periods when symptoms are more severe.
How does Psorisis Occur
People with psoriasis have an increased production of skin cells.
Skin cells are normally made and replaced every 3 to 4 weeks, but in psoriasis this process only takes about 3 to 7 days. The resulting build-up of skin cells is what creates the patches associated with psoriasis.
Although the process isn’t fully understood, it’s thought to be related to a problem with the immune system. The immune system is your body’s defence against disease and infection, but for people with psoriasis, it attacks healthy skin cells by mistake.
Psoriasis can run in families, although the exact role genetics plays in causing psoriasis is unclear.
Many people’s psoriasis symptoms start or become worse because of a certain event, known as a “trigger”. Possible triggers of psoriasis include an injury to your skin, throat infections and using certain medicines.
The condition isn’t contagious, so it can’t be spread from person to person.
How psoriasis is diagnosed
A GP can often diagnose psoriasis based on the appearance of your skin.
In rare cases, a small sample of skin, called a biopsy, will be sent to the laboratory for examination under a microscope. This determines the exact type of psoriasis and rules out other skin disorders, such as seborrhoeic dermatitis, lichen planus, lichen simplex and pityriasis rosea.
You may be referred to a specialist in diagnosing and treating skin conditions (dermatologist) if your doctor is uncertain about your diagnosis, or if your condition is severe.
If your doctor suspects you have psoriatic arthritis, which is sometimes a complication of psoriasis, you may be referred to a doctor who specialises in arthritis (rheumatologist). You may have blood tests to rule out other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and X-rays of the affected joints may be taken.
How do you cure Psoriasis
There’s no cure for psoriasis, but a range of treatments can improve symptoms and the appearance of skin patches.
In most cases, the first treatment used will be a topical treatment, such as vitamin D analogues or topical Corticosteroids. Topical treatments are creams and ointments applied to the skin.
If these aren’t effective, or your condition is more severe, a treatment called phototherapy may be used. Phototherapy involves exposing your skin to certain types of ultraviolet light.
In severe cases, where the above treatments are ineffective, systemic treatments may be used. These are oral or injected medicines that work throughout the whole body.
Living with psoriasis
Although psoriasis is just a minor irritation for some people, it can have a significant impact on quality of life for those more severely affected.
For example, some people with psoriasis have low self-esteem due to the effect the condition has on their appearance. It’s also quite common to develop tenderness, pain and swelling in the joints and connective tissue. This is known as psoriatic arthritis.
Hypnothaerapy for Psoriasis
There are several types of Psoriasis but the most effective in responding to Hypnotherapy is Plaque Psoriasis.
Research studies have shown that 80% of those that sufferer from this type of psrosis. Hypnotherapy can result in a partial or complete remission, although there are many positive case studies around the other types as well.
Why is hypnosis so effective?
Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder and as a result it produces an inflammatory reaction to the skin. Research in the area of Hypnotherapy and Psoriasis has shown that it can control an inflammatory reaction and the NHS even uses this to help burns victims heal much sooner and with less scarring.
Inflammatory cells are released by the subconscious mind. All biological and chemical reactions within the body are controlled and regulated in the brain by the subconscious mind including hormonal and steroidal release. The aid of Hypnotherapy allows direct access to the subconscious mind and so it can affect how much or little it releases into the body.
By using Hypnotherapy it can control the inflammation and the Psoriasis doesn’t have a pathway to the skin so the sufferer can feel and see the benefits of partial or completely clear skin! Often there are also triggers emotionally/psychologically related such as Anger which is well documented that can also have a serious effect on Psoriasis.
Hypnotherapy is a vastly under-used modality in the treatment of psoriasis and I would be delighted to try and help you with the emotional, physical and psychological burdens of your disorder.