Psoriasis smart skin dermatology


Psoriasis is a noncontagious, lifelong skin condition that affects about 2-3% of the population worldwide. People with psoriasis have thickened, red, and often scaly patches on their skin. Psoriasis is very likely to run in families, but it can also be triggered by certain situations, such as emotional stress, injury to the skin, infection, as well as taking certain medications. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it seems to be caused by errors in how the immune system functions.

It can develop at any age, but it is usually diagnosed in those aged between 15 and 25 years. Thirty percent of people with psoriasis have a family member with psoriasis. The condition affects men and women fairly equally, with women tending to show signs at a younger age than men. As stated above, certain medications can trigger flares of psoriasis. These include beta-blockers, NSAIDS (eg, ibuprofen, naproxen), lithium, antimalarial drugs, and oral steroid withdrawal. Approximately 10-30% of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory arthritis that causes painful, swollen joints.

The typical lesions of psoriasis are red, raised patches that often have a silver or greyscale on top of them. These patches are frequently seen on the elbows, knees, back, buttocks, and scalp, and they are usually seen on both sides of the body. Areas of rubbing or friction are particularly likely to develop these lesions. Most people also experience itching, but some may not.

Psoriasis can be graded as:

    • Mild – Few, scattered, small areas of involvement (about two-thirds of people have the mild disease).
    • Moderate – A More widespread disease affecting larger areas, sometimes affecting the joints.
    • Severe – Most of the skin surface is affected, sometimes affecting the joints The nails may also be affected in psoriasis.

There may be tiny pits or indentations, yellow-brown spots, and lifting up of the nail from the finger underneath (onycholysis).

See your doctor if you have severe psoriasis or if self-care measures are not helpful.

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