Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease affecting 2% of the population. It occurs equally in men and women, can appear at any age, and tends to come and go unpredictably. It is not infectious.
Although psoriasis is a long-term condition, there are many effective treatments available to keep it under good control. We see numerous sub-types of psoriasis.
Psoriasis can affect the nails and the joints as well as the skin.
Both inherited and environmental factors play a role in the development of psoriasis. Psoriasis tends to run in families.
Psoriasis signs and symptoms
Skin affected by psoriasis is red and scaly. The outer layer of skin (the epidermis) contains skin cells, which are continuously being replaced. This process normally takes between three and four weeks. In psoriasis, the rate of turnover is dramatically increased so that cells are formed and shed in as little as three or four days.
For many individuals, factors such infections, stress, alcohol and/or smoking can trigger flares of psoriasis. Certain medications such as beta-blockers (used to treat high blood pressure and angina), lithium tablets (used to treat malaria) can also cause psoriasis to flare.
There is no cure for psoriasis but there are several effective dermatology treatments available. Treatment of psoriasis varies and largely depends on severity. Hierarchy of therapy includes: