Quiz: How Well Do You Understand Psoriasis and Its Treatments?
Stephanie Stephens | Dec 7, 2017
- 0 An infection
- 0 Contagious
- 1 An autoimmune disease
- 0 Curable
You are correct! You are incorrect!
Your chronic skin disorder of psoriasis is:
The correct answer is 3 – It is a complex autoimmune disease caused by an overactive immune system. Your body's immune system actually attacks or launches an inflammatory response in the body — in this case, against your skin. It is not infectious, contagious, or curable, but it can be managed with proper treatment to reduce symptoms. That's why it's so important to work closely with your doctor throughout the course of treatment.
Genetics, the environment, and behavior may cause your psoriasis to develop or worsen.
The correct answer is True – Both genetics and environment may play a role in psoriasis development. Approximately 40 percent of those diagnosed with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis find that members of their family have also been diagnosed. Research shows that approximately 10 percent of those diagnosed have one gene or more that could cause development of psoriasis. Skin injury, stress, infection, medications, excessive alcohol use, and smoking can also play a role.
Which of the following symptoms are common with psoriasis?
The correct answer is 5 – Symptoms may also include skin rash in the genital area, on the scalp, or in folds of the skin. Discuss all of your symptoms with your doctor so you both can develop the optimum treatment plan for your condition. If you initially had only certain symptoms, and now you have others, that could indicate another form of psoriasis.
Pustular psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis.
The correct answer is False – The most common type is actually plaque psoriasis. It typically causes uncomfortable patches or plaques to appear on knees, elbows, back, and scalp. Other types of psoriasis include pustular psoriasis, which causes pustules that may "join together" on large sections of skin. Guttate psoriasis may develop in children or young adults, affecting the trunk. Inverse psoriasis is usually seen in skin folds and, while inflamed or red, it usually does not scale. Nail psoriasis affects — you're right — the nails, changing color and compromising nail condition. The rarest form of psoriasis is erythrodermic, with large areas of inflammation and intense redness, along with severe pain, itching, and swelling. It can be fatal.
Mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis can usually be well-controlled by the following corticosteroids:
The correct answer is 5 – Your doctor may prescribe one or more of these medications, some of which may come in the form of a foam or a spray. If conditions improve, your doctor may reduce how often you apply the medications. Fluocinonide and clobetasol propionate may be used on the scalp or in the outer ear canal. The face and any skin areas that touch, such as skin folds of the breast, may benefit from hydrocortisone. Tougher and thicker plaques may require stronger medications such as betamethasone.
If your doctor prescribes a topical corticosteroid, you may add a topical vitamin D analog such as calcitriol or calcipotriene to complement the medication and increase its effectiveness.
The correct answer is True – Research has shown that the vitamin D analogs calcitriol and calcipotriene work well in combination with topical corticosteroids; calcitriol has been found to be less likely to irritate the skin.
If you take methotrexate for long-term treatment, your doctor may recommend that you:
The correct answer is 5 – Methotrexate suppresses the immune system and can cause severe side effects. It's important to follow your doctor's instructions completely. The medication can impair liver function and also damage lungs and bone marrow. Do not take sulfa-category antibiotics with methotrexate, and do not take it at all if you are pregnant or planning to be.
Your moderate-to-severe psoriasis doesn't respond to other treatments, so you've been prescribed an injectable biologic. Which of these is not a biologic?
The correct answer is 3 – That one is totally fictitious. All of the others are injectable biologics, which may also be given by infusion. They may improve symptoms a couple of weeks after you begin your treatment and they target only certain areas of the immune system. They can cause serious side effects, so your doctor won't prescribe these if you currently have a major infection or your immune system is compromised. You and your doctor should discuss all the risks and benefits of using biologics.
Which one of the following has been found to have NO effect on psoriasis?
The correct answer is 2 – Although herbal tea may taste delicious, it won’t do anything for your psoriasis. Reducing stress may help, as stress can trigger a psoriasis flare. Light therapy — also called [phototherapy](https://www.healthcentral.com/article/should-your-psoriasis-get-the-light-treatment) using ultraviolet light—can help (but may raise your risk of skin cancer, so proceed carefully). Soaking in a warm tub with oatmeal may reduce scaly skin, redness, and itching.