Psoriasis is an immune-mediated polygenic skin disorder. Various environmental triggering factors, e.g. trauma, infections, medications, stress may elicit disease in predisposed individuals. Psoriasis can affect people of all ages, but usually develops between the ages of 20-30 or 50-60. Although symptoms are generally very similar between those affected, it affects everybody differently, depending on where they are at in life.
Some common symptoms of psoriasis are:
- Red plaques with silvery-white scales that itch or burn, typically on the elbows, knees, scalp, trunk, palms, and soles of the feet.
- Dry, cracked skin that itches or bleeds.
- Thick, ridged, pitted nails.
Some patients have a related condition called psoriatic arthritis, which is characterized by swollen, painful joints.
It’s usually easy for your doctor to diagnose psoriasis. Sometimes doctor might do biopsy to confirm diagnosis.
There are many ways to treat psoriasis, and treatment will depend on the type and severity of disease. Most forms of psoriasis are not severe and can be successfully treated with creams or ointments. Limited plaque psoriasis can respond well to topical corticosteroids and emollients. Alternatives include vitamin D analogs, topical retinoids, UVB phototherapy. Severe psoriasis requires phototherapy or systemic therapies such as retinoids, methotrexate, cyclosporine, or biologic immune modifying agents. Managing common triggers, such as stress and skin injuries, can also help keep the symptoms under control.
If you have psoriasis, your skin needs a lot of proper care. Firstly you need to moisturize your skin very well if you have psoriasis, especially right after taking a shower or a bath. The second rule is to be gentle with your skin in order to protect it from injuries. The best skin care is not an intensive day per week, but a daily routine. It is not easy at first, but the longer you take good daily care of your skin, the more improvement you will experience.