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Aging With Psoriasis - An Overview

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Psoriasis is a persisting skin condition, which can potentially influence a person’s general well-being upon aging.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav

Published At August 25, 2023
Reviewed AtMarch 26, 2024


Certain disease conditions are lingering types, precipitating occasional breakouts and suppression episodes. Such persisting ailments are broadly categorized as chronic diseases, as those illnesses remain with the affected person throughout their lifetime. In the case of skin conditions, the skin itself manifests various changes upon aging, which precipitates troubles and challenges during later ages when coupled with long-standing skin diseases. Psoriasis is one such condition that, upon aging, brings in new health challenges. Hence considerable modifications in the treatment approach should be initiated to deal with the age-induced alterations in the disease progression.

What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a peculiar form of skin disease that falls under chronic diseases. The condition develops due to an abnormal and anomalous response of the immune system in the body. The exaggerated activity of the immune system (defensive system) is responsible for the development of psoriasis, which triggers the process by which a cell increases its number. Its incidence is equally distributed among the population, with no remarkable gender preferences.

Normally new cell formation is triggered only when the body needs it. But in psoriatic conditions, the immune system's enhanced activity unnecessarily boosts cell formation. It results in the piling and gathering of more and more cells over the skin surface, manifesting in flaking skin. Researches are still ongoing across the globe, intending to figure out what exactly brings in the aberrant functioning of the immune system. However, certain studies have proven the role of a person's genetic makeup in the development of psoriasis.

What Are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?

Psoriasis reflects a spectrum of manifestations; however, the affected patients are reported to have alternating periods of breakout and stagnant (inactive stage). Skin patches develop over the skin surface due to abnormal skin cell gathering. The skin also elicits peeling and flaking, creating a crusty and scaly appearance. Silver or gray-colored skin scales are identified as the hallmark feature of psoriasis. These skin lesions can develop anywhere; however, it is more particularly reported over the scalp, knees, elbows, eyebrows, skin folds, and behind the ears. Soreness, prickling, itching, and burning sensations are often elicited over the skin patches. Clinical manifestations become apparent within the mid-twenties. Certain patients elicit manifestations even during the early teenage period itself. In more advanced stages, it can influence the functions of various vital organs in the body. Once it impacts the joints, it is precipitated in the form of psoriatic arthritis, with manifestations extending to joints in the form of swelling, soreness, and compromised mobility of the joints.

How Does Aging Affect Psoriasis?

Aging does not fasten the progression of psoriasis, and aging alone does not make psoriasis awful. However, aging precipitates certain challenges in the human body, which may not be favorable for psoriasis.

Aging may bring in new health issues, and the medication for many such diseases does have a negative effect on psoriasis. In addition, aging brings remarkable alterations to the skin. The skin becomes papery (thin), and the elasticity of the skin also collapses, which eventually makes the skin prone to develop sores even for minor impact or injury. When such sores develop over psoriatic patches, it can be highly distressing and painful for the patient and often elicit bleeding through the skin cracks.

Improper management of psoriasis can often pave the way for other medical conditions. At times, psoriasis is reported along with underlying disease conditions like metabolic syndrome (a spectrum of diseases that develop altogether), which can significantly increase the likelihood of developing complications in cardiac (heart) functioning.

In female patients, upon aging, there will be great disruptions in the hormone level due to approaching menopause (permanent halt in menstruation). It is marked by a palpable collapse in the estrogen hormone, which precipitates as dehydrated and desiccated skin. It also enhances skin thinning, which can aggravate psoriasis.

Stress is recognized as a potential trigger for psoriasis, which tends to increase as one gets aged. With aging, the encounter with stressful situations also increases, eventually catalyzing psoriasis breakouts. Aging is strongly associated with the gearing down of bone density. Certain studies have revealed an enhanced decline in bone density in psoriatic patients upon aging, which could eventually lead to bone disorders like osteoporosis (remarkable collapse in bone density).

Diseases often tend to develop associated complications in the long run. Likewise, psoriasis also develops other associated health complications over time. It may extend its influence to other organs and structures. Once it extends the inflammatory changes into the joint spaces in the form of psoriatic arthritis (a variant of psoriasis), the joint functions and mobility of the person will also get compromised.

How to Live With Psoriasis?

With aging, psoriatic patients must modify their treatment regime to tackle the anticipated complications. The dryness and thinning of the skin should be promptly managed with appropriate moisturizers to counterbalance the skin thinning. The moisturizers offer obvious protection from minor skin cracks.

Sunburns in psoriatic skin often question the response to psoriatic treatment, which makes it challenging to manage. Using sun-blocks as sunscreens offers considerable defense against the worsening of psoriasis. Keeping the habit of daily hair washing and using appropriate hair conditioners to moisturize and hydrate works well for tackling psoriatic hair and scalp issues. It aids in balancing the dryness induced by aging.

The risk of developing osteoporosis is likely higher in patients with psoriasis due to the added influence of psoriasis over the joints. Hence, with aging, patients should keep regular follow-up visits with their concerned doctor to track bone density and tackle osteoporosis at the very initial stage. Patients can also incorporate vitamin D and calcium more in their diet to keep up bone density despite the influence of aging and psoriasis.


Psoriasis is a typical dermatological condition that, once developed, remains with the patient forever. It is precipitated with transient symptom-free and flare-up periods. No studies have proven that psoriasis condition worsens upon advancing age. However, aging brings a spectrum of changes in the body, including developing new disease conditions, which can make the situation more favorable for psoriasis breakouts. Proper attention to age-associated alterations can tackle such flare-ups to a great extent. Since psoriasis is known to have certain potentiating factors, understanding those factors help the patients to live with psoriasis peacefully.

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Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav
Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav



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