Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition characterised by red, dry, and thick plaques on the skin. Psoriatic lesions develop on the skin due to the abnormal functioning of the lymphocytes present in the blood resulting in more rapid turnover of skin cells. It is a non-communicable disease and is considered as mild or severe depending upon the area of involvement of the disease and the time for its recovery.
Psoriasis is a chronic, incurable skin condition with periods of clear skin followed by episodes of relapse. Some patients notice more lesions in winter, with emotional stress, injury to skin, skin infections and use of certain medications.
Psoriasis is global condition affecting people of all age groups with higher incidence in younger adults.
Symptoms and Signs
The signs and symptoms of psoriasis depend on the type of psoriasis. The most common symptoms include dry, red patches which can be itchy and irritating; often develop on the elbows and knees but can spread to the other parts of the body. It may also affect the joints, nails and present as severe dandruff.
Based on the characteristics of plaques and the body part affected, psoriasis is categorised into five types, namely:
Erythrodermic psoriasis – Spreads all over the body with characteristic red skin and shed the scales in sheets
Guttate psoriasis – Small pink spots develops on the trunk and limbs
Inverse psoriasis – Smooth, shiny bright-red lesions develop in the regions of skin folds such as arm pits, groin, under breasts and around groin
Plaque psoriasis – Most common form of psoriasis and is characterised by red raised plaques with silvery white scales that develop on elbows, knees, scalp and lower back
Pustular psoriasis – Psoriasis subtype with blisters of non-infectious pus surrounded by inflamed skin
The diagnosis of psoriasis involves the physical examination of the patient’s skin and rarely a skin biopsy. X-rays may be requested if joint pains are present.
There are a number of treatment options to treat psoriasis and include the use of creams, injections, tablets and light therapy. At your consultation, your skin will be assessed and a treatment plan will be discussed.