Helping people manage psoriasis

People can learn more about a condition which affects an estimated 7,000 Galway people at a free event in Salthill on Friday April 20.

Psoriasis sufferers are invited to attend a psoriasis information clinic at Mullins Pharmacy, Upper Salthill, from 2pm to 5pm on the day.

Psoriasis is a non-contagious, chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects more than 100,000 people in Ireland.

Dermatology nurse Siobhan Murphy will host both clinics and will provide one to one advice to patients on the management of their condition and compliance with treatments. Choosing what clothes to wear and where to spend their leisure time can be a major problem for people, she says. Sufferers are sometimes unable to wear short sleeve shirts or tops and uniforms can be a problem because patients cannot hide their condition at work.

“The condition affects people on a daily basis in choosing what clothes to wear and where they spend their leisure time.

“Some people are unable to wear short sleeve shirts or tops due to plaques on their arms and similar style uniforms can be problematic as patients cannot hide their condition at work.”

She says women have difficulty sourcing long sleeve dresses for summer weddings to cover their arms.

“Although they do not want to wear cardigans on a hot day they often have no alternative. They are also curtailed by the length of the dress they can buy as they have to hide plaques on their legs. Some resort to wearing trousers. Other patients are unable to wear dark clothing as the skin scale is very noticeable on their shoulders and is often mistaken for dandruff.”

Facts about psoriasis

• It is possible to manage psoriasis and even clear it

• It can appear anywhere on the body. However, the most common sites of psoriasis are the scalp, elbows and knees

• The condition usually appears as red, elevated plaques with silvery scales at various locations on the body

• It can come and go at any time

• It can occur at any age and both men and women are equally affected

• Psoriasis can be an inherited disorder but is not infectious or contagious

• Some people may develop it if other trigger factors are present such as throat infection, sunburn, stress, other medications and alcohol

• Safe sun exposure can help most people but for a small number of people it can worsen it

• A minority of people with psoriasis can develop a type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis

Many people are unable to go swimming at their local pool because they fear a negative reaction from others to their condition, according to Siobhan Murphy.

The Psoriasis Association of Ireland urges people to visit their doctor rather than suffer in silence.

For further information on psoriasis visit www.psoriasisireland.ie or www.mypsoriasis.ie Telephone (091 ) 526600 for an appointment for the information clinic or drop by on the day.

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