Psoriasis is red, itchy scaly breakouts on your skin, most commonly located on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp.
○ More than 3 million US cases per year
○ Treatment can help, but this condition can't be cured
○ Requires a medical diagnosis
○ Lab tests may be required, especially for drug monitoring
○ Chronic: usually lifelong
When it comes to psoriasis, a lot is going on under your skin causing what you see on the surface. Plaque psoriasis is an inflammatory disease that is active internally but shows up externally. It is hard to predict just where plaque psoriasis will appear on your skin. Unfortunately, plaque psoriasis is a chronic disease, which means it’s a disease that usually lasts a lifetime but can come and go and is sometimes clear for extended periods before relapsing.
Untreated, psoriasis can lead to plaques that will continue to thicken and potentially spread. These can be quite uncomfortable at times; the itching can be severe. Uncontrolled plaques can become infected. You may also develop painful changes in your nails, possibly leading to the loss of your nails. If you are diagnosed with arthritis along with your psoriasis (psoriatic arthritis), you may experience stiffness, swelling and joint or back pain. Fortunately, there are excellent oral or injectible treatments for this which can help both the skin and the joints. If you don’t keep up with treatment however, the ongoing inflammation can lead to permanent joint damage which can be painful and disabling.