Psoriasis

PSORIASIS

Psoriasis is a skin condition normally presenting as red flaky raised patches on the skin. It is a chronic inflammatory condition which affects about 2 % of the population. It is not contagious and does not leave any scars, though it can sometimes leave lighter or darker patches of skin which resolve with time. It is a chronic long term condition but can be helped with a variety of treatments available ranging from creams to oral tablets and newer oral and injectable treatments.

It affects both men and women and there are no racial differences. Exact causes are unclear and it is thought to be multifactorial. Family history plays a role and it is considered to be due to abnormal immune related inflammation in the skin. It can range from mild disease to considerable severity with involvement of most of skin and also hair, nails and joints.

Treatment is usually initiated with topical creams which could be based on steroids, salycylic acid, coal tar, vitamin D3 anologues and others. Also available is light therapy which is carried out in a dermatology department. Psoriasis not responding to the treatments as already discussed can be treated with oral medications. These oral tablets are prescribed and followed up by Dermatologists. What treatment would be suitable for a patient would depend after a complete assessment of clinical severity of the condition, taking in account its impact on the quality of life of the patient and an in depth discussion about the different aspects of the treatment.

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image of a large patch of psoriasis on the arm