Psoriasis is a lifelong chronic skin condition that causes painful, scaly patches of skin most commonly around the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp. It affects around two in every hundred people in the UK and usually first appears between the ages of 11 and 45.
Immature skin cells build up rapidly on the skin surface causing red and flaking patches that are covered in silvery scales. It’s not infectious but there is no cure.
People who have psoriasis often suffer from debilitating symptoms and associated problems that can leave them depressed and isolated. In patient surveys by the National Psoriasis Foundation in the USA between 2001 and 2008, a third of sufferers with a mild form of the disease and nearly two thirds with moderate to severe symptoms said their everyday lives were significantly affected.
Lack of sleep caused by painful lesions, embarrassment from visible patches that can’t be covered up with clothing, fatigue, constant itching or irritation – these are just some of the issues that can have an overwhelming impact on a patient’s quality of life.
In fact, the US study found that psoriasis can be as debilitating as many other serious medical or psychiatric conditions including cancer and heart disease because of the physical, psychological and social impact it has on those afflicted with it.
It’s only natural that sufferers vigorously pursue a treatment strategy that will give them the greatest and most prolonged relief from their symptoms.
Treatments are varied and determined by the type and severity of the condition, but include creams and ointments, phototherapy and oral or injected medications that can reduce the production of skin cells and target specific areas of the immune system.
Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) now offers another option in the treatment armoury. By exposing the entire body to extreme temperatures as low as -120 degrees celcius, you stimulate the body’s natural response to decrease inflammation and pain and promote healing.
Today, WBC is increasingly becoming an accepted treatment for chronic inflammatory arthritic diseases, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, chronic and acute pain relief.
And it has been shown to be a safe method to control and reduce psoriasis flare-ups because of its ability to boost the body’s natural defences.
Individual accounts record some outstanding results. One 42-year-old man, who had lived with the condition for 13 years, came to us for help after a dramatic flare-up of his symptoms. He had tried conventional treatments like creams and ointments as well as altering his diet and trying alternative therapies like acupuncture.
After his first session he slept through the night for the first time in 17 years. By his third treatment the patches on his knees and elbows were significantly improved and some smaller patches on his feet had disappeared.