For some time you spend your days you mechanically scratch your head … And only you finished dusting your neck it is again milled by many white dandruff. Warning, you may have psoriasis!
Psoriasis affects approximately 3 million people in France. Face, chest, joints … injuries are so widespread body area.
How to recognize it?
Psoriasis As for the rest of the body, reaching the scalp is characterized by red patches topped with thick whitish scales. These lesions cause itching, flaking and sometimes bleeding.
Unlike natural desquamation, the psoriasis plaques is accompanied by the formation of thick films or “flakes”.
The plates are thick in general, can form a real shell on the scalp, sometimes extending into the forehead, behind the ears and on the neck.
The scalp psoriasis may be confused with seborrheic dermatitis, this condition can cause the same signs. It is therefore important that the diagnosis is made by your doctor, such a finding of a psoriatic plaque on the skin.
Consequences on everyday life
As for skin psoriasis, reaching the scalp is disturbing. Not only big films are deposited on your clothes but the itching is constant. Avoid at all costs scratching because the plates can then bleed, become infected, or hair being ripped off … When psoriasis involves the face, then it is difficult to “camouflage”. The psychological impact is important, which is added to the physical discomfort. The plates becoming stressful, himself a factor favoring the appearance of new plates, it is difficult to get out of this vicious circle.
A comprehensive care
Your doctor, once the diagnosis made, should seek to identify precipitating or aggravating factors of relapses and their impact on your life: for example, professional or family stress that you underestimate or repress may be in for the increase of your itching. Its aim should be to improve your quality of life, help you to live with this disease possible minimizing its effects.
Psoriasis is a chronic, and discouragements are many. Your doctor will provide you with clear explanations, advice and treatment, local and / or general, suitable for you.
The derivatives of vitamin D, prescribed in the form of lotion, inhibit the proliferation of keratinocytes (cells responsible for plaque formation). This treatment, widely used, is effective in 30-40% of cases. A cortisone lotion may be associated initially, to act more quickly on inflammation. Shampoos containing tar, effective but messy and smelly, are present withdrawn from sale in France. To be aware that phototherapy, conventionally used to regress skin plates, is ineffective on the scalp.
The general treatment of psoriasis
At these local treatments may be associated, in extended forms, disabling, a systemic treatment. Side effects are numerous, and the information must be strictly asked by your doctor. The reference treatment, due to its anti-inflammatory, immunostimulatory and its possible association with all local treatment is methotrexate. Its effectiveness must not hide its toxicity, so it should regularly monitor its effects on the blood (NFS) and liver (liver function tests). Retinoids or cyclosporin may also be used.
In addition, biologic therapies are available to treat moderate to severe psoriasis but these drugs are prescribed only specialized environment and are not devoid of side effects. Today, several biological agents are indicated in the treatment of psoriasis. The first two drugs approved for this indication are part of the family of anti-TNF alpha, etanercept (ENBREL®) and infliximab (REMICADE®) already used against rheumatoid arthritis. One can also add the adalimunab (HUMIRA®), available and reimbursed in the indication “psoriasis skin” since December 2008. These three drugs reduce inflammation due to psoriasis and give quick results sometimes spectacular and often very encouraging.
At least four new drugs derived from biological agents are currently in development and could be allowed in the coming months.
Finally, if your psoriasis is important, if you mine as to prevent you from being yourself, do not hesitate to ask your physician: a short-term psychotherapy can help you pass a course, accept yourself and move forward.