Health Library: Psoriasis

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that is characterized by red, scaly thickened skin. Other skin conditions like eczema can look like psoriasis, so it is important to see a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis of the condition. People who have a family history of psoriasis are more likely to develop the condition. It can start at any age, flare on and off throughout life and is considered a lifelong disease.

How is psoriasis treated?

Luckily, psoriasis has many treatment options based on the severity of disease. Treatment of mild psoriasis can include moisturizers, steroid creams and non-steroid medicated creams that are applied to the skin. For people with moderate to severe disease, meaning they have large areas of skin affected by psoriasis, there are oral and injectable medications that can be utilized.

Can psoriasis affect other areas of the body (not just the skin)?

Patients who have skin psoriasis are at increased risk of developing inflammatory effects in their joints, called psoriatic arthritis. Many patients who have psoriasis are at increased risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and depression. It is important for patients with psoriasis to follow up with their primary care.


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