It is well known that our skin is constantly regenerated, and skin cells take about 28 days to reach the surface from the depth. In people who suffer from psoriasis, a chronic skin disease, the skin growth process is sped up by 7 times, that is, it lasts four days only, so the skin cells pile up because of the sped up growth and create red, protruded spots, which are often covered with scales.
Psoriasis appears on certain areas, such as scalp, knees, and elbows; the affected areas vary from person to person. The cause of psoriasis is still unkown, but in the past couple of years, thanks to the introduction of biological medications, a significant advance in the treatment of psoriasis occurred. One especially effective ally in the treatment of mild or moderate psoriasis is naftalan – healing mineral oil sourced in the surroundings of Ivanić-Grad.
Naftalan therapy helps with psoriatic arthritis too
The experts of Special Hospital Naftalan developed naftalan therapy, which proved to be a beneficial treatment for the consequences not only of psoriasis, but also the consequences of psoriatic arthritis and other inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
During 2011 and 2012, the effects of naftalan therapy were researched in 41 psoriatic arthritis patients. During their stay, they underwent other physical therapy procedures too, but it was demonstrated that the application of naftalan therapy contributed to the efficiency and better outcome of the treatment. Psoriatic arthritis, which is related to psoriasis, is a chronic rheumatic inflammatory disease, accompanied by symptoms such as pain, stiffness and swelling of joints, as well as thickening of nails and appearance of holes in nails.
“Thanks to this unique natural resource, at Naftalan we have the opportunity to perform this type of therapy, which makes us unique not only in Croatia, but also in the European Union, even in the whole world. Naftalan oil, creams and shampoos we produce are also recognized as a successful local therapy”, said Gordana Krnjević Pezić, a dermatovenereologist and the medical superintendant of Special Hospital Naftalan.
Life with psoriasis and therapy
During winter, because of cold and lack of sunlight, psoriasis worsens, whereas during summer its symptoms improve. Sunbathing, mostly thanks to the effect of ultraviolet beams, eases the symptoms of psoriasis. The effect is short-term in some patients, but in some cases can last for months.
Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. Local therapy with creams helps with milder forms. With moderate forms, when 5-10% of skin is affected, phototherapy combined with naftalan therapy is applied. Severe forms of psoriasis are treated with systemic therapy, regardless of the season.
The disease is aggravated by obesity, smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol. The patients are recommended physical exercise and healthy diet, as they help with treatment.
Psoriasis affects 1 to 3 % of the world’s population. It is most common in the Scandinavian countries (3%), and most uncommon among the Native Americans (0,5%).