• November Newsletter

    November Newsletter

    Welcome to Novembers Newsletter.




    The Irish skin foundation are launching a digital awareness campaign…. #SaySomething.

    Psoriasis affects many people in Ireland up to 30% of whom can also develop arthritis. Heart disease and high blood pressure are also more common in those with psoriasis, due the stigma attached to psoriasis depression can also be associated with this skin condition and stress can exacerbate it.

    Those with psoriasis should have regular check -ups. There are some useful links at the end of this message.

    Your doctor will examine your skin, scalp and nails.

    It is related to the immune system – an autoimmune disease

    It may run in families (there are several different genes involved in psoriasis)

    It is not curable, but treatments are available

    It is not contagious

    It is sometimes associated with psoriatic arthritis

    It is associated with slightly higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity

    It is associated with slightly higher risk of cardiovascular disease (angina, heart attack and stroke)

    There is a strong association between psoriasis and depression

    If you suspect you have psoriasis your doctor will do a general exam but look specifically at your skin hair and nails

    There are different types of psoriasis plaque psoriasis is most common

    Make the most of your visit with your doctor


    Do not be embarrassed about asking your doctor questions. Make a list of questions beforehand so you don’t forget, and take them with you to your appointment



    Acknowledge your feelings and emotions about your condition. Share these with your doctor. It will help ensure that you get the most out of your visit

    If you feel your mood is very low, you have lost interest in things you used to enjoy, you have changes in sleep patterns or appetite, or feel like life is not worth living – these are symptoms of significant depression and you should talk to your doctor urgently about these. Your doctor can prescribe medication, talking therapy or a combination of both. Depression is very common in psoriasis and is very treatable

    Similarly, anxiety can cause disrupted sleep, panicky feelings, palpitations, excessive worrying and a feeling of inability to cope with the day to day tasks of life. Depression and anxiety sometimes occur together in the same person. There are effective treatments available. Do not suffer in silence

    Ask your GP and dermatologist about your risks for heart disease. Your GP is an expert in screening for these and treating them if necessary

    If you have symptoms of arthritis ask for referral to a rheumatologist

    Make sure you understand the information your doctor is giving you. It is acceptable to say, “I don’t understand”

    Learn more about psoriasis. This will make it easier to have a conversation with your doctor about treatment options and your treatment progress

    Keep a diary of your symptoms and how you feel, and note any times that you forgot to take your medication

    Treatment options step one:

    Topical treatments

    Topical corticosteroid cream

    Calcipitriol a form of synthesised Vit D acts similarly to steroid cream but with fewer side effects

    Coal tar

    Dithranol is a cream that helps in plaque psoriasis to reduce cell turnover

    Combinations of the above Eg: dovobet

    Step two, Phototherapy or light treatment UVB or PUVA:

    Uvb Ultraviolet light B (UVB), which is also present in natural sunlight, penetrates the skin and slows rapid growth of cells associated with psoriasis

    There are two types of UVB treatment: broadband and narrowband. Most hospitals now use narrowband as it is more effective. Narrowband exposes the skin to a more specific range of UV wavelength

    PUVA is an acronym for psoralen combined with ultraviolet light A (UVA). UVA, like UVB, is found in sunlight. UVA must be combined with a light – sensitizing medication such as psoralen to be effective. PUVA slows down the rapid cell growth of psoriasis

    Step 3 systemic oral therapy (Tablets):

    Methotrexate effective in psoriatic arthritis it is an anti-proliferative drug which improves the abnormal activity of the immune system in the skin

    Cyclosporin A drug that suppresses T-cells in the immune system

    Acitretin a vitamin A analogue also used in acne helps reduce abnormal cell growth rate

    Step 4 Biological therapies:

    An anti-TNF monoclonal antibody (TNF-alpha is a molecule which increases immune activity in your skin)

    Adalimumab  A TNF-alpha receptor blocker

    Etanercept An anti-TNF monoclonal antibody given by infusion (“drip”)

    Infliximab A monoclonal antibody that blocks interleukins 12/23. (These interleukins are involved in the abnormal immune responses in psoriasis).

    These medications are also used in other conditions such as Cohn’s Disease or rheumatoid arthritis

    Useful links include:

    Irish Skin Foundation, www.irishskinfoundation.ie

    Irish Association of Dermatologists, www.irishdermatologists.ie

    British Association of Dermatologists, www.bad.org.uk

    Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance, www.papaa.org/self-help/etips

    National Psoriasis Foundation, www.psoriasis.org






    Free smear tests for women aged 25 to 60.

    Cervical Check’s aim is to find changes in the cervix before they become cancerous.

    Results take just 4 weeks.

    Most smear tests are normal.

    For information or details on Cervical Check visit: www.cervicalcheck.ie or  Freephone 1800 45 45 55.

    To arrange your free cervical smear test, please contact us here at The Medical Centre on 074 93 63611 and ask for Michelle.

    Vascular Screening


    We were delighted to welcome Mr. Sultan the professor of Vascular Surgery, Galway University Hospital to Buncrana Medical Centre last Tuesday.

    He is offering male patients over 70 the opportunity to have a lifesaving ultrasound of the aorta, the carotid arteries and femoral arteries which is a unique opportunity to have a full vascular screening test.

    This is also more important if you are a smoker or have high blood pressure

    Any man over 70, if they are interested in screening please contact Anne Brogan (074 93 63611) as there will be another screening clinic in December


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