1. What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common, chronic, relapsing/remitting, immune-mediated skin disease characterized by red, scaly patches, papules, and plaques, which are not itchy.

The skin lesions seen in psoriasis may vary in severity from minor localized patches to complete body coverage.

It is genetic disease influenced by environmental factors. It can be triggered by infection, stress, calcium deficiency, smoking, alcohol consumption and certain medicines like oral steroids, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs, anti hypertensive drugs and anti depression drugs.

2. What are the signs and symptoms?

There are five types of psoriasis: Plaque, guttate, pustular, inverse, and erythrodermic. About 80% of people living with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, also called "psoriasis vulgaris." Plaque psoriasis causes patches of thick, scaly skin that may be white, silvery or red. These patches can develop anywhere on the skin. The most common areas to find plaques are the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp.

Psoriasis can also affect the nails. About 50% of people who develop psoriasis see changes in their fingernails and/or toenails. Psoriasis can affect the joints too. Smaller joints of the hand and joints of the knee and lower back can also get involved. If joint pain develops, it is important to consult a dermatologist to prevent joint deterioration.

3. Can psoriasis be cured?

In most patients, it is a chronic, life-long condition with alternating periods of flaring and clearing. There are advanced therapies available and your dermatologist can decide the best treatment option for you.