What is it?

Psoriasis is a type of skin condition that usually appears as an elevated round or oval patch of skin. This patch has a thick silvery scale and sits on a reddish inflamed base. It is not usually itchy.

Psoriasis can also affect your nails and joints. When psoriasis affects joints, it can cause swelling and stiffness. The cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is often hereditary and is somehow linked to the immune system. Psoriasis is not infectious.

What will my GP do now?

Your GP will explain more about psoriasis and give you some information on known triggers, such as:

  • Certain infections (like strep throat)
  • Medications
  • Stress
  • Lifestyle factors like smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise

Your GP will also give you general advice about how to take care of your skin (see ‘What can I do?).

Your treatment will depend on the type and location of your psoriasis. Treatment may include agents such as:

  • Short term topical steroids
  • Calcipotriol (Vitamin D)
  • Coal tar

Your GP may refer you to a dermatologist if your psoriasis is severe, or you have joint pain and stiffness.

What will my GP do in the future?

Your GP may want to see you again to check how your treatment is going. They may:

  • Change your treatment if it hasn’t been working well
  • Refer you to a dermatologist

What can I do?

There’s a lot you can do to help your skin and your overall health and wellbeing. As well as following your GP’s instructions, you can:

  • Keep your skin well moisturised
  • Use QV or Cetaphil moisturising creams to help soften and soothe skin, reducing cracking and dryness
  • Avoid hot showers
  • Use aqueous cream as a soap substitute, but not as a moisturiser
  • Limit sun exposure
  • Avoid scratching or rubbing
  • Avoid applying too much pressure to affected skin (such as kneeling with psoriasis of your knees)
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get active and exercise regularly