What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common, chronic, relapsing, immune-mediated, inflammatory disorder with primary involvement of the skin and a strong genetic predisposition. The disease onset usually occurs in younger ages. Skin lesions typically represent erythematous, inflammatory plaques and silvery scaling expressing the inflammatory changes and keratinocyte hyperproliferation.
A substantial proportion of psoriasis patients experience an inflammatory polyarthritis (psoriatic arthritis) that may include enthesitis, synovitis, tenosynovitis, periostitis, osteitis, sacroiliitis and spondyloarthritis. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis cause major physical, functional and psychosocial disability.
With increasing severity the spectrum of psoriasis is associated with signs of systemic inflammation and several comorbidities including cardio-vascular diseases, the metabolic syndrome, an increased risk for mortality and shorter life-span. Special types include nail psoriasis, pustular psoriasis (localized to palms and soles, or generalized), psoriatic erythroderma, inverse psoriasis and various forms of palmo-plantar involvement.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis of the skin?
The symptoms of psoriasis of the skin can vary widely, and will depend on what type of psoriasis you have. Some symptoms can be very painful, while others may not bother you so much. The most common symptoms include:
- Cracking, bleeding skin
- Silvery, scaly patches
- Small red spots
- Thick, red, inflamed lesions
- Itching or burning sensation
- General soreness
- Pitted or cracked nails
- Nails separating from the nail bed
- Symptoms occur most often on your knees, elbows, scalp or upper body. Other common areas are your feet, hands, nails and in skin folds (including your genital area).
What are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis?
Are there different types of psoriasis?
What causes psoriasis?
How severe can psoriasis get?
How many people have psoriasis?
Who gets psoriasis?
How do I know if I have psoriasis?
Is psoriasis contagious?
Is there a cure?
Does psoriasis put me at risk of other health conditions?