Psoriasis is among the most common and most difficult to control of all skin diseases, affecting about 2 percent of the population
It affects men and women equally and usually appears between the ages of fifteen and thirty. It generally follows a chronic course of acute flare-ups alternating with periods of remission
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that causes irritation and redness on the surface of the skin. People suffering from psoriasis generally have thick reddish colored skin with silver-white flaky patches known as scales.
Psoriasis may be mild, moderate or severe based on factors such as total area of the affected skin, the activity of the disease, response to therapies and impact on the patient’s health
There are 5 main types of psoriasis, namely plaque, inverse, guttate, erythrodermic and pustular. Plaque is the most common form of psoriasis and is characterized by white and red scaly patches on the topmost layer of the skin.
Plaque is the most common form of psoriasis and is characterized by white and red scaly patches on the topmost layer of the skin.
Plaque psoriasis affects the elbows and knees but may also be seen on the palms, feet, scalp, and genitals. This is a chronic skin condition that may either be seen in some parts of the body or may cover the entire body. Even the nails on the fingers and toes can get affected by this form of psoriasis. Joint inflammation can also be caused by psoriasis which can lead to psoriatic arthritis.
Erythrodermic psoriasis, on the other hand, is characterized by an exfoliation and inflammation of the skin all over the body. Patients affected by this form of psoriasis often experience pain, swelling, and severe itching. Plaque psoriasis can turn into erythrodermic psoriasis especially when treatment is discontinued before the symptoms start subsiding.
If left untreated erythrodermic psoriasis can even be fatal as the extreme inflammation can hinder the body from regulating temperature. Pustular psoriasis is characterized by pus-filled raised bumps on the skin surface and generally affects random body parts. Guttate psoriasis refers to small red or pink, scaly teardrop-shaped lesions that are typically visible on larger areas of the body such as the scalp, trunk, and limbs.
The word psoriasis is derived from the Greek psora, which means “to itch.” Salmon-red bumps with a silvery scale appear on the skin, get bigger, and grow together to form large plaques. Lesions of psoriasis vary in size from fractions of an inch in diameter to large plaques covering most of the body and requiring hospitalization.
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Places on the body most commonly affected by psoriasis include the elbows, knees, scalp, and sacral areas. The nails are involved in about one-half of cases, with pitting, breaking, thickening under the nail, or thickening of the nail itself. Also, between 10 and 30 percent of people with psoriasis also suffer from psoriatic arthritis, which can be quite painful. Because of the chronic, difficult nature of psoriasis, professional help is needed in all but the least severe cases.
There appear to be many reasons why some people develop psoriasis, and others do not. It has a tendency to be inherited—about one-third of those who have it have another family member with psoriasis. Several studies have documented the relationship between specific stresses and the start and flare-ups of psoriasis. Almost half of all people with psoriasis report that a specific stressful event occurred within one month before the first episode of psoriasis.