Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that is characterised by symmetrically distributed red scaly plaques.

Causes:

There are many factors causing psoriasis. The chronic inflammation of skin is due to an immune-mediated reaction.

Genetic factors are important. When both parents have psoriasis, then a 40% chance that the children will have psoriasis.

Drugs such as beta-blockers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and alcohol could worsen psoriasis.

Symptoms and signs:

Patients usually experience red silvery scaly plaques with well-defined edges. The scalp and nails can be involved. Some patients may have psoriatic arthritis affecting different types of joints.

Psoriasis could be early or late age onset. It could be acute or chronic.

Treatments:

Mild cases can be treated with topical steroids and vitamin D analogue. Systemic therapy such as methotrexate can be considered in severe cases. Biologics are reserved for treatment-resistant severe cases.

General Care:

Gentle sun exposure does good to psoriasis. Quit smoking and cut alcohol consumption can reduce the severity of psoriasis. Obesity can render psoriasis much difficult to control and increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome.