Psoriasis is a common, chronic (lifelong) condition that causes red,
scaly patches on the skin. 1,2
It can occur on any part of the body, but most commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp. 1,2
Psoriasis is not contagious. 1,2 Although there is no cure for psoriasis, treatments are available to help manage your symptoms. 1,2
This is the most common form of the disease. 1, 3
It causes dry, raised, often itchy red skin patches (plaques) covered with a silvery scaly surface layer. 1, 3
On skin of color, the discoloration is darker and thicker. 3
Plaques usually appear on the knees, elbows, scalp, and lower back. 1, 3
Affects fingernails and toenails, causing pitting,
abnormal nail growth and discoloration.
Sometimes nails will separate from the nail bed or crumble.1,
The prevalence of nail involvement in psoriasis patients is approximately 50%. It is thought that 80-90% of patients with psoriasis will at some point present with nail involvement.
Causes red patches of skin covered with silvery scales and a thick crust on the scalp, often extending just past the hairline that may bleed when removed. 1
Usually affects young adults and children, and is triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. It causes small, drop-shaped, scaling lesions on the trunk, arms or legs. 1
Affects the skin folds of the groin, buttocks and breasts, and may be triggered by fungal infections. It causes patches of smooth or shiny red skin that worsen with friction and sweating. 1
A rare type of psoriasis characterised by white pustules occurring on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet. 1 It can be localised or generalised and can flare rapidly necessitating hospital admission for treatment.
The least common and most severe type of psoriasis, in which the whole body may be covered by an itching or burning, red, peeling rash. 1 It can sometimes require hospital admission for treatment.
Causes swollen, painful joints that are characteristic of arthritis. In some cases, the joint symptoms are the only sign of psoriasis. 1 Among patients with psoriatic arthritis, the prevalence of nail involvement may be as high as 80.5%.
|Genetic||Family history of PsO increases the risk of developing the disease by nearly 20 times.|
|Environment||Obesity doubles the risk of PsO.
Smoking, combined with other risk factors, increases the risk for PsO by 2~9 times.
Psoriasis signs and symptoms vary from person to person, and depend on the type of psoriasis you have. 1, 2
|Plaques||Red, patchy skin with silvery scales|
|Dryness||Dry cracked skin|
|Skin sensitivity||Itching, burning, or sore skin, sometimes bleeding in affected area|
|Nail changes||Thickened, pitted nail beds of fingers/toes|
|Joint pain||Swollen and stiff joints|
Psoriasis can range from a few small spots on the skin that resemble scales of dandruff, to numerous large patches of affected skin.1 Commonly affected parts of the body are the lower back, elbows, knees, legs, soles of the feet, scalp, face and palms.1 Often, people with psoriasis experience flare-ups for a few weeks or months and after this period, symptoms subside.1, 2
There are no special tools to diagnose psoriasis.
A doctor or other health care provider usually examines the affected skin to make the diagnosis of psoriasis. 3
About one-third of people with psoriasis have a family member with the condition, so your doctor will likely ask you about your family history. 3
Psoriasis may be assessed by your doctors using a variety of scores that measure the severity in your skin and joints, how psoriasis is affecting your mood and daily activities, and whether you are at risk of heart disease.
These scores include the PASI (Psoriatic Arthritis Severity Index - a score that measures the severity of joint symptoms in psoriasis) and
DLQI (Dermatology Life Quality Index - a score that measures the impact of psoriasis on your daily activities).
Treating your psoriasis is important to manage your symptoms,
reduce your risk for comorbidities, and improve your overall health
and quality of life.2
Treatment depends on the type and severity of psoriasis. 2 It can differ based on how much psoriasis affects the body and the quality of life. 3
There is no cure for psoriasis and complete clearance of skin lesions may not always be possible. There are several effective treatments available to control your psoriasis. Most people with mild psoriasis are able to manage their skin complaint with topical treatments. Moderate or severe psoriasis usually needs additional therapy such as phototherapy or systemic drugs.
Psoriasis is not contagious, it cannot be caught by person-toperson contact, or by sharing of bodily fluids (such as by kissing or sharing food or drinks). It also cannot be caught by others in close contact public areas, such as in swimming pools or in saunas. 7
About one-third of people with psoriasis will eventually develop
psoriatic arthritis. In its milder forms, psoriatic arthritis often goes
undiagnosed. However, psoriatic arthritis should be treated
as early as possible to avoid permanent joint damage. 3
And if you have psoriatic arthritis, the choice of drug to treat your psoriasis should be decided in consultation with a rheumatologist.
1. Psoriasis. Mayo Clinic. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840#dialogId5054742 Accessed July 2020.
2. Psoriasis Fact Sheet. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/psoriasis_fact_sheet_0.pdf Accessed July 2020.
3. About Psoriasis. National Psoriasis Foundation. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis Accessed July 2020.
4. Psoriasis Association. Available at: https://www.psoriasis-association.org.uk/ Accessed July 2020.
5. Psoriasis Association. Available at: https://www.psoriasis-association.org.uk/psoriasis-and-treatments/treatments/from-a-gp Accessed July 2020.
6. Psoriasis vs. Eczema: How to Tell the Di-erence. WebMD. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/psoriasis-or-eczema Accessed July 2020.
7. Psoriasis Association. FAQ. Available at: https://www.psoriasis-association.org.uk/psoriasisand-treatments/faq Accessed July 2020.
DLQI, dermatology life quality index; PASI, psoriatic arthritis severity index; PsO, psoriatic arthritis
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