What is it?

Psoriasis is among the most common chronic skin disorders. It can manifest in many ways and can begin at any age, though it is less common in children than adults. There are many proposed risk factors including genetic predisposition, environmental and behavioral factors. Patients with psoriasis are at greater risk for a variety of conditions including psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, as well as psychological disorders. The reason for these associations is not fully understood.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Acrodermatitis continua
- Dermatitis repens

Signs & symptoms

Psoriasis can appear in many different forms. The most common form called "chronic plaque psoriasis" usually presents with symmetrically distributed plaques that are reddish, well-demarcated with an overlying scale. Common areas of involvement include the scalp, knees, elbows and the groove between the buttocks. However, many other areas can be invloved. Also, there are different types of psoriasis that present very differently both in shape and in distribution. The plaques are commonly itchy but may also be asymptomatic. The clinical course is related to the type of psoriasis but is individual and is unpredictable.

Diagnosis

Most cases of psoriasis can be diagnosed by physical examination. A skin biopsy is usually not necessary but may be helpful for challenging cases. Lab tests are not used for the diagnosis.

Treatment

There are many different treatments for psoriasis. The choice of treatment is complex and depends on the severity, patient preference and the response to therapy.
Treatment options include
1.Topical therapies: emollients, steroids, vitamin D analogs, topical anti-inflammatory therapy and more.
2. Phototherapy, light therapy, has a positive effect on psoriatic skin lesions with an anti inflammatory and anti proliferative properties. This can be done in office, at home, or outside in certain places
3. Systemic therapy- There are many systemic medications used for the treatment of psoriasis. Systemic therapy is usually relevant for patients with more than 5 percent body surface area or less extensive involvement but a debilitating disease.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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