Today’s cutting-edge psoriasis treatments let you look and feel your very best!
Jolie recently booked a Caribbean cruise with her old college friends. For most 30-year-olds, not such a big deal. For Jolie? A milestone! “I haven’t been anywhere in ages — certainly not anywhere that required a bathing suit,” admits the work-at-home data analyst. “It wasn’t unusual for psoriasis to cover 30% of my body. I couldn’t stand to look at it myself, let alone have others see it!”
Over the years, Jolie had designed her life to avoid others. “I left a great office job and went freelance so I could stay home and not have to deal with people’s stares, questions and comments.”
It was her best friend, Bethann, who snapped her out of it. “She asked me how long I planned on staying in my ‘cocoon,’” recalls Jolie. “She said she missed me and that she hoped I would go on the cruise with all our friends.”
Bethann struck a nerve, and Jolie saw her dermatologist. “I told her I was sick of being held hostage by my psoriasis!” Her doctor prescribed a new medication, and after a few weeks she was startled. “My plaques were going away! I told Bethann to count me in on the trip and went bathing suit shopping!”
If psoriasis is holding you back from the life you deserve, it’s a sign your treatment may not be all it could be. But don’t give up! Your path to smoother, clearer skin is out there. Take a cue from Jolie, and find it with the help of your dermatologist.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes an overgrowth of skin cells. Researchers believe some people are born with a genetic predisposition to the disorder and develop psoriasis after exposure to a trigger — anything from a sore throat to a stressful event. In response, white blood cells prompt the body to grow new skin cells faster than normal. The result is a buildup of flaky, silvery skin patches called plaques, which often itch or cause pain. Psoriasis commonly affects knees and elbows, but it can show up anywhere on your body.
How severe is your psoriasis?
Your dermatologist will assess your psoriasis and determine whether it is mild, moderate or severe, depending on the following factors:
Resistance to treatment
Mild cases of psoriasis can respond well to topical treatments. More severe psoriasis may require stronger solutions.
How much of your body is affected.
- Less than 3% = mild
- From 3% to 10% = moderate
- More than 10% = severe
How you feel
If having psoriasis is limiting your life — causing discomfort or embarrassment — tell your doctor. Your feelings are important when making treatment decisions.