The psoriasis is a skin disease, non – transferable, which has no cure. However, the condition has treatment and, for those who receive the diagnosis, having the correct follow-up is crucial to lead a healthy life and with controlled symptoms.
With this in mind, the month of October is dedicated to raising awareness about the disease. Seeking to bring more information about the symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and coexistence with psoriasis, October 29th was defined as the World Psoriasis Awareness Day.
That is why, in that month, a series of information circulates. Learn more about the campaign and treatments of the disease:
Psoriasis awareness campaign
The National Psoriasis Awareness campaign is promoted by the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD). It takes place in October, which also has World Psoriasis Awareness Day (29 October).
The aim of the campaign is to bring more information about the disease, so that prejudice and ignorance do not affect patients and family members.
Although it is not a communicable condition, it is still common to have a lot of prejudice against those who have psoriasis, so that, in addition to dealing with symptoms, patients need to face society’s misinformation about it.
The condition affects about 1.3% of the Brazilian population, which is equivalent to approximately 2 million people, according to doctor Ricardo Romiti, coordinator of the National Psoriasis Campaign of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD).
Therefore, the importance of seeking medical attention as soon as there is any skin change is highlighted, as psoriasis lesions can often be confused with allergies and even mycoses, which leads to incorrect and ineffective treatment.
Therefore, the month of October is marked by guidelines regarding the symptoms and types of the disease, diagnosis, treatment and skin care in general.
In 2020, the 29th of October will be marked by a live of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD) made of Christ the Redeemer. Along with information and clarifications about the disease, there will be images of the skin lesions projected on the monument, in order to raise awareness about the disease.
Symptoms and diagnosis of psoriasis
The diagnosis of psoriasis lesions is based on clinical analysis, but in some cases, it may also be necessary to perform a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of psoriasis and rule out the possibility of other diseases.
The Psoriasis Clinical Protocol and Therapeutic Guidelines (PCDT) of the Ministry of Health, states that the differential diagnosis must be made with the following conditions: “eczemas, mycoses, cutaneous lupus , lichen planus, mycosis fungoides, plaque parapsoriasis, pityriasis rubra pillar, pink pityriasis, Bowen’s disease and secondary syphilis ”.
That is, as the lesions can be confused with other dermatological conditions, the exams can help to close an accurate diagnosis.
In addition, there are different types of psoriasis – which can impact treatment choice. According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, they are:
- Plaque or common psoriasis;
- Nail psoriasis;
- Scalp psoriasis;
- Gout psoriasis;
- Inverted psoriasis;
- Pustular psoriasis;
- Erytodermal psoriasis;
- Arthropathic psoriasis.
The coordinator of the National Psoriasis Campaign of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD), Ricardo Romiti, points out that the most common cases are plaque or common psoriasis, comprising about 90% of diagnoses.
This type occurs mainly on the scalp, elbows, knees and back, but can affect any other region.
Typically, the picture “manifests itself through reddish and high lesions covered by whitish scales that easily detach from the skin spreading through clothing, bedding and objects of daily contact such as hair combs and brushes. Itching and pain associated with cracking the skin are the main symptoms ”, according to the expert.
The cause of psoriasis is not known for certain, but the inflammatory disease is related to genetic and immunological factors. For the diagnosis, specialist Ricardo Romiti points out that it is essentially done through clinical analysis – that is, medical evaluation is essential.
Psoriasis treatments: what are the options?
Although there is no cure, psoriasis can be treated, so that patients can maintain their quality of life and well-being in a very satisfactory way. For this, it is essential that the diagnosis is made and there is constant dermatological monitoring.
There is no single way to treat the condition, as it depends on the extent and severity of the condition – which can only be determined by a dermatological evaluation. And, according to the Psoriasis Clinical Protocol and Therapeutic Guidelines (PCDT) of the Ministry of Health, “the goal of treatment is to obtain prolonged periods of remission of the disease”.
The specialist Ricardo Romiti points out that “the choice of medications, made by dermatologists, can range from topical treatments, with anti-inflammatory ointments and creams, to systemic therapies with oral medications, phototherapy and the newest injectable medications (immunobiological or biological) ) ”.
Understand a little about the options:
According to the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, most cases of psoriasis are mild, so the treatment consists of using topical medications, which are specific creams and shampoos.
Topical treatment is that applied directly to skin lesions, and is indicated for all conditions of the disease. In general, mild conditions respond well to this option, but it can also be combined with systemic therapy.
The Psoriasis Clinical Protocol and Therapeutic Guidelines (PCDT) indicates that, among the options, keratolytic drugs, emollients, topical corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors can be used.
The Psoriasis Clinical Protocol and Therapeutic Guidelines (PCDT) points out that the use of phototherapy is, in general, indicated for patients with extensive lesions that do not tolerate topical treatment.
But it can also be an option for injuries that, although small, are capable of having a great impact on quality of life, such as those that occur on the feet or hands.
In addition, treatment is indicated as the first line for moderate to severe psoriasis.
In moderate and severe cases of psoriasis, the Psoriasis Clinical Protocol and Therapeutic Guidelines (PCDT) indicates therapeutic regimens with phototherapy and systemic drugs (ie, that are used orally).
The first-line oral drugs presented in the document are methotrexate (MTX), acitretin and cyclosporine .
More serious cases that do not respond to traditional systemic therapies and phototherapy, or when patients have some restriction to them, can be indicated to biological drugs. They constitute highly specific treatments, with options available in the Unified Health System (SUS).
The biological drugs indicated by the Psoriasis Clinical Protocol and Therapeutic Guidelines (PCDT) are adalimumab , etanercept , ustequinumab and secuquinumab .
Does stress cause psoriasis?
No, but for those who already suffer from the disease, the emotional factor can aggravate the situation, as indicated by specialist Ricardo Romiti.
It is worth noting, then, that awareness campaigns are necessary not only for those who have the disease, but also for the whole society, so that prejudice and misinformation do not continue to affect the well-being of patients.
This is because, often, the lesions are in visible places of the body, causing patients to suffer prejudices and discrimination. This tends to affect self – esteem and well-being, and may further aggravate the manifestation of injuries, forming the vicious cycle.
The month of October is marked by the National Psoriasis Awareness campaign and also by the World Psoriasis Awareness Day.
With more information and clarifications in relation to the disease, the goal is that the diagnosis is increasingly assertive, patients have more quality of life and have access to appropriate treatments.
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