Psoriasis is a skin condition associated with patches of abnormal skin. The patches may appear red, itchy, flaky, often covered with silver scales mostly on the scalp, trunk, elbow, and knees. The exact appearance of psoriasis might depend on each person and the type of psoriasis, but the overall idea is that the person has abnormal patches of the skin. The disease itself is a long-term autoimmune disease. The cause and mechanism of psoriasis are quite complicated, it has no cure, and the patient may undergo periods where the skin disease flares up or goes into remission. Psoriasis is not contagious, i.e., it cannot be passed from one patient to another.
Psoriasis is a multifactorial disease which means it is a combination of genetic (if one of your parents has it, you are more likely to have this disease which you have inherited from your parents) and susceptibility factors such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic syndrome.
It is thought to be an autoimmune disease in which the body’s defense system gets confused and attacks its own cells.
Some of the risk factors of developing psoriasis are;
More than 125 million people are affected worldwide. Up to 3 % of the world population is living with psoriasis. More than 1/3 of patients with psoriasis suffer from its mild to severe form. Approximately 7.4 million people in the United States of America have psoriasis. According to the WHO, males and females are equally affected.
Psoriasis may present as:
History and physical examination are the main tools to making a diagnosis. Examining the typical lesions on the skin may point towards the diagnosis. Another telling sign is when psoriatic plaques are scraped, pinpoint bleeding can be seen from the skin below. This is known as the Auspitz sign.
There are no specific blood tests or diagnostic procedures for the disease.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease without a cure. The goals of treatment are to reduce the symptoms and halt the progression of the disease. The following substances are effective in the management of symptoms and the psoriatic lesions;
Psoriasis is a long-term disease. It has no cure. There are periods of relapse and remissions in this disease. Psoriasis is known to improve in warm weather and worsen in cold weather. The disease has a poor prognosis if it appears early in life with a family history or concomitant HIV infection. Stress is also a poor prognostic factor. Although psoriasis is not a life-threatening disease, it's quite debilitating. It also has psychological consequences for patients who suffer from low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. These patients should also be treated for these symptoms.
Several studies have revealed some of the precipitating factors of psoriasis which should be avoided to cope with the illness like;
Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on May 27, 2023.
Psoriasis Prevalence in Adults in the United States | Dermatology | JAMA Dermatology | JAMA Network
Psoriasis Types, Symptoms & Causes | NIAMS (nih.gov)