Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It can affect any part of the body but typically appears behind elbows and knees, scalp, back, face hands, and feet.

Psoriasis patients are also at risk of developing other health conditions including: psoriatic arthritis, lymphoma and non-melanoma skin cancer, osteoporosis, Crohn's disease, and obesity.

Psoriasis Statistics:

How prevalent is Psoriasis?

  • More than 8 million Americans have psoriasis.
  • 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis

Age Onset

  • Psoriasis often appears between the ages of 15 and 25 (but you can develop it at any age)

Severity of Psoriasis

  • The National Psoriasis Foundation defines moderate psoriasis as affecting 3-10% of the skin; and more than 10% is considered severe.
  • Nearly one-quarter of people with psoriasis have cases that are considered moderate to severe.

What are the different symptoms of psoriasis?

  • Red, raised, inflamed patches of skin
  • Whitish-silver scales or plaques on the red patches
  • Dry skin that may crack and bleed
  • Soreness around patches
  • Itching and burning sensations around patches
  • Thick, pitted nails
  • Painful, swollen joints

Psoriasis can be confused with other skin conditions like: eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and dandruff. To get the right diagnosis your dermatologist may need to take a biopsy of your skin to see what is really affecting the skin tissue.

What are the different types of psoriasis?

● Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common form of the disease and appears as red, raised bumpy patches with a whitish buildup of skin cells covering the patches.

● Guttate Psoriasis: This form of psoriasis appears as small, dot-like lesions. Guttate usually starts in childhood that can be triggered by an infection of strep-throat.

● Inverse Psoriasis: Inverse shows up as very red lesions in body folds, like behind knees, under the arm or in the groin and appears as smooth and shiny.

● Pustular: Pustular is characterized by white blisters of pus surrounded by red skin. It is not an infection, is not contagious, and usually occurs on hands and feet.

● Erythrodermic: Erythrodermic is a severe form of psoriasis that causes widespread redness over most of the body. It causes itching and pain, and makes the skin come off in sheets.

What are the main psoriasis causes?

Both genetics and external factors can trigger and cause psoriasis.

- Genetics: People can inherit a gene that makes them more likely to develop psoriasis.
You are at a much higher risk of psoriasis if an immediate family member also suffers from it.

- Injury to skin: Psoriasis can appear in areas of the skin that have been injured or traumatized. Sunburns, scratches, and vaccinations can also trigger psoriasis.

- Medications: Lithium, antimalarials, inderal, quinidine, and indomethacin are all associated with triggering psoriasis.

- Infection: Infections that affect your immune system can all affect psoriasis as it is an auto-immune disease. Specifically, strep throat can trigger guttate psoriasis in children.

- Stress: Stress can cause a flare up for the first time and can also aggravate existing psoriasis.

Can psoriasis be cured?

Is psoriasis curable? Psoriasis cannot be cured, but there are many preventative measures you can take to treat symptoms as discussed below:

What is the latest treatment for psoriasis?

The latest psoriasis treatments are new biologics. Biologics are pharmaceutical drugs that are manufactured in, extracted from, or semi synthesized from biological sources. Once in your system, biologics work to prevent inflammation that causes flare-ups.

What other treatments are there?

1. Topical treatments: These treatments are creams, oils, and ointments applied directly to the skin to reduce mild or moderate symptoms.

2. Systemic medications: These medications are ingested orally or injected directly into the skin. They can have severe side effects, so typically these are only prescribed for short periods of time.

3. Light therapy: This treatment uses both ultraviolet or natural light to kill the blood cells that are attacking healthy skin cells causing psoriasis growth.

How to cure psoriasis permanently?

Again while there is not ultimate cure, below are some medications available to treat symptoms:

● Biologics (Given by injection or IV infusion): Cimzia, Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, Simponi, Stelara, Cosentyx, Taltz, Orencia, and Ilumya

● Systemics (Taken orally in liquid or pill form or given by injection):
○ Acitretin
○ Cyclosporine
○ Methotrexate

● Topical (Applied directly to skin)
○ OTC topicals
○ Topical non-steroid
○ Topical steroids
○ Seal of Recognition products

If you are concerned that you may be suffering from psoriasis, take a visit to your dermatologist
for a diagnosis to begin treatment!

Author's Bio: 

Ronak Desai is the Co-Founder of Apotheco Pharmacy Group, a leading Dermatology Pharmacy. He oversees the development and execution of corporate strategies with a focus on Pharmacy growth and development.