Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterised by clearly defined, red and scaly plaques (thickened skin. Psoriasis affects 2–4% of males and females (western countries). In India it may be relatively less. For most of the persons, psoriasis affects less than 5% of body surface area. Rarely it is wide spread. It can start at any age. It tends to persist lifelong, fluctuating in extent and severity. About one third of patients with psoriasis have family members with psoriasis.
Psoriasis usually presents with symmetrically distributed, scaly plaques with well-defined edges. The scale is typically silvery white. The most common sites are scalp, elbows and knees, but any part of the skin can be involved. The plaques are usually very persistent without treatment. Aggravating factors are infections, Injuries such as cuts and abrasions, obesity, smoking, alcohol, stressful event, and some medications. Sun exposure is more often beneficial. Health conditions associated with psoriasis: Inflammatory arthritis (psoriatic arthritis), and metabolic syndrome (obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes)
Treatment of psoriasis: Topical therapy: Mild psoriasis is generally treated with topical agents such as coal tar preparations, Vitamin D analogue (calcipotriol), topical corticosteroids or Calcineurin inhibitor. If the psoriasis is more phototherapy (Narrowband UVB/ PUVA) can be given. Moderate to severe psoriasis warrants treatment with a systemic agent and/or phototherapy. The most common treatments are: methotrexate, ciclosporin or acitretin. Biologics or targeted therapies are reserved for conventional treatment-resistant severe psoriasis.