The Basics of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease of the immune system that affects the skin and joints, but can affect your nails and soft tissues near genitals and inside the mouth. It’s a very common and chronic disease that affects approximately 7.5 Million people in the United States. Between 80% and 90% of psoriasis patients experience “plaque psoriasis,” which is characterized by patches of raised, reddish skin covered with silvery-white scale. It can usually be found in your scalp, knees, elbows, hands and feet. There are other forms of psoriasis, including inverse, erythrodermic, pustular, guttate and nailisease.  Approximately 80% of patients being treated for Psoriasis have mild to moderate symptoms of the disease.


Psoriasis can occur in all age groups, but primarily affects adults. Up to 40% of patients being treated for psoriasis experience joint inflammation that produces symptoms of arthritis; called Psoriatic Arthritis. Other conditions can be associated with Psoriasis including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression. Just like patients with other chronic illnesses, Psoriasis can have a substantial psychological and emotional effects on patients, and depression rates among patients may be as high as 50%.


There is a myriad of treatment options for Psoriasis that range from topical agents to orally taken medications and injections or infusions. Psoriasis is a serious medical condition affecting the immune system.  A board-certified dermatologist can evaluate your treatment options to determine which treatment is best for you. 


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