What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic relapsing inflammatory skin disease which affects about 2% of the population. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown. It is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There may be a positive family history. Some environmental factors which can worsen or trigger psoriasis include infections, stress, heat, sweating and certain drugs (e.g. propranolol).
Psoriasis typically appears as thick, scaly red patches on the scalp, hairline, ears, elbows, knees and lower back. Some patients may also have joint pain and deformed nails.
What is the treatment for psoriasis?
Although psoriasis may be difficult to cure, it can be effectively controlled in many people. The choice of treatment will depend on the severity of psoriasis, any medical conditions present and the patient’s preference. The type of treatments include topical medication (steroids, moisturisers, immunomodulators), light therapy (phototherapy), oral medication (e.g. methotrexate) in severe cases and the latest biologic therapy (e.g. secukinumab, ustekinumab, etanercept). Your dermatologist will assess the severity of psoriasis and reccomend the the most appropriate and safest form of therapy.