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Psoriasis - Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Psoriasis - Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

2 min read


Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder that speeds up the cell cycle, resulting in the buildup of dry skin cells on the surface of the skin.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Suvash Sahu

Published At November 21, 2019
Reviewed AtAugust 1, 2023


One of the common dermatological conditions observed is psoriasis which is characterized by building up of skin cells followed by the formation of scales, itchy and dry patches. It has on and off nature as it comes and goes and can be painful at times.

What Causes Psoriasis?

Though the main etiology has not been discovered yet, it is known to be associated with immune-associated conditions that are related to T cells and white blood cells. Overactive T cells lead to increased growth of skin cells, more T cells and white blood cells, thus the action is noticed.

What Are the Risk Factors and Triggering Factors?

Usually, there are various factors that can put you at risk of getting psoriasis and they are as follows:

What Are the Symptoms?

There are various types of psoriasis like plaque psoriasis, nail psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis. The symptoms also vary according to the type and location involved. Some of the commonly seen signs and symptoms include:

  • Red patches on the skin that are covered with thick, silvery scales.
  • In children, small scaling spots can be seen.
  • Dry and cracked skin that may be associated with bleeding (Auspitz sign).
  • Itchiness, burning sensation or soreness.
  • Nails that are thickened, pitted or ridged.
  • Joints that are swollen and stiff.

What Are the Complications?

Psoriasis in itself is a disturbing condition and if not treated may lead to certain other conditions or certain associated pre-existing conditions may worsen the outcome of disease:

  • Psoriatic arthritis which leads to joint damage and disturbance in function.
  • Eye disorders like conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and uveitis.
  • Obesity.
  • Type 2 diabetes is also very commonly associated with severe psoriasis.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Cardiovascular diseases like irregular heartbeat, stroke, increased cholesterol, atherosclerosis.
  • Metabolic syndrome includes blood pressure, increased insulin levels and abnormal cholesterol levels.
  • Certain autoimmune diseases like sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.
  • Emotional disturbances.
  • Kidney disorders.
  • Parkinson’s disease.

What Are the Ways to Diagnose It?

Usually, the diagnosis is clear cut and straight forward. It involves a complete medical and personal history of the patient along with physical examination and skin biopsy. In physical examination, the skin, scalp, and nails are examined.

The procedure for skin biopsy includes initial application of local anesthetic and a small sample of affected skin is taken which is then examined under the microscope to diagnose the type and to exclude other diseases.

How Can It Be Treated?

The treatment is mainly aimed at reducing the inflammation and clearing the skin. There are various treatment options available like topical treatments, phototherapy (light therapy), and medicines given systematically. Types of treatment mainly depend upon areas of involvement and severity of illness.

Topical medications include Corticosteroids that reduce the inflammation and gives relief from itching. Others include Vitamin D, Anthralin, Retinoids, Salicylic acid, Moisturizers, etc.

Phytotherapy also called light therapy includes sunlight, UVB, Psoralen with UVA, Excimer laser, etc. Oral medications or injectable medications involve Retinoids, Methotrexate, Cyclosporine, Immune system moderating drugs, etc.

Some alternative therapy can also be used like aloe vera gel, fish oil, etc., which are seen to provide some relief, though they are not yet scientifically proven to cure or manage this disease.

Also, some precautionary measures and home remedies can be used to have better results like maintaining the hygiene, the use of moisturizers, avoiding the triggers of psoriasis, limited or minimal exposure to sunlight, etc.

It is important to notice the initial signs and symptoms of psoriasis and consult your physician as delay in it can lead to complications, and also the physician will diagnose the exact type of psoriasis and give the medications accordingly. With the emergence of online medical platforms, it has become easy to consult a doctor whenever you want and hence, get your queries clarified instantly.


Psoriasis is a type of autoimmune skin disorder in which the skin cells become dry. It has several risk factors such as family history, deficiency of vitamin D, etc. It can be treated by adding vitamin D, retinoids, moisturizers, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Most Effective Psoriasis Treatment?

There is no single most efficient treatment for psoriasis because it completely depends on the individual's symptoms and the severity of the condition. Treatment options involve topical medications, laser treatment, systemic medications, and biologic agents, with the type and location of psoriasis, overall health, and patient preferences influencing the choice of treatment. To receive the best symptom alleviation, some people may require a mix of treatments.


Where Does Psoriasis Originate?

Although the specific cause of psoriasis is uncertain, it is thought to be a mixture of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. The disease is not infectious and cannot be passed on from person to person.


Is Psoriasis a Medical Condition?

Yes, psoriasis is a disease that affects the skin and joints. It is a systemic autoimmune disorder characterised by excessive growth of skin cells, culminating in scaly, red patches of skin.


What Foods Help in the Treatment of Psoriasis?

While there is no single diet that can cure psoriasis, certain foods may help some people with their symptoms. These include omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like fatty fish, nuts, and seeds, as well as antioxidant-rich foods like colorful fruits and vegetables. Reduced consumption of processed foods, alcohol, and foods high in sugar or saturated fat may also benefit some people. Individual responses may vary, so dietary changes should be taken after consulting with a medical practitioner.


Is Sunlight Beneficial to Psoriasis?

Sunlight can help some people with psoriasis because ultraviolet (UV) light slows the growth of skin cells and reduces inflammation. However, it is critical to exercise caution and avoid overexposure to sunlight, as this can increase the risk of sunburn and skin damage. It is best to seek medical advice providers about the safest and most effective ways to use sunlight as a psoriasis treatment.


What Vitamins Help in the Treatment of Psoriasis?

Although vitamins cannot cure psoriasis, they can help some people with their symptoms. Vitamin D, for example, has been shown to help with inflammation reduction and promotion skin health. Vitamins A, E, and C are examples of vitamins that may be beneficial. However, before taking any supplements, consult with a healthcare provider because high doses of some vitamins can be harmful.


Is Egg Beneficial for Psoriasis?

Although there is no conclusive evidence that eggs are beneficial for psoriasis, some people with the condition report that eating eggs has helped to alleviate their symptoms. It should be noted, however, that individual reactions to food can vary greatly, Furthermore, what works for one individual may not work for another.. If one has psoriasis and is thinking about including eggs in their diet, It is best to seek medical advice provider or registered dietitian first to determine the best dietary plan for their specific needs.


Is Salt Water Beneficial to Psoriasis?

Some people with psoriasis may benefit from using salt water to relieve itching and soothe irritated skin. Bathing in salt water or applying a saltwater solution as a compress may also aid in the removal of scales and the overall appearance of the skin. However, it is critical to exercise caution and avoid overexposure to salt water, as this can dry out the skin and worsen symptoms. It is best to seek medical advice providers about the most effective ways to use salt water as a psoriasis treatment.


What Is the Best Climate for Psoriasis?

Individual responses to climate can vary greatly, so there is no definitive "best" climate for psoriasis. Warm, humid climates, on the other hand, may be beneficial to some people with psoriasis because the moisture in the air can help to soothe dry, flaky skin. Others might find cooler, drier climates more comfortable. It is important to remember that climate is only one factor in psoriasis management, and it is best to collaborate with a healthcare physician to create an all-encompassing treatment plan that covers all aspects of the condition


Can Psoriasis Cause Harm?

Psoriasis is not dangerous or life-threatening in and of itself, but it can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life. Psoriasis can cause emotional distress, social isolation, and low self-esteem in addition to physical symptoms such as itching, pain, and skin irritation. Psoriasis may raise the likelihood of getting other diseases diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues depression in some cases. As a result, it is critical to effectively manage psoriasis and seek appropriate medical care when necessary.


Is Psoriasis a Chronic Disease?

Psoriasis is, indeed, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin and joints. This means that it is a chronic condition that necessitates ongoing management and treatment to control symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Although there isn't a cure for psoriasis, with appropriate medical care and lifestyle changes, many people can successfully manage their symptoms and lead healthy, active lives.


Is Psoriasis Caused by Stress?

Although stress is not a direct cause of psoriasis, it can be a trigger or exacerbating factor for some people. Stress can cause several physical and emotional changes in the body, including inflammation, which can exacerbate psoriasis flare-ups. As a result, stress management techniques such as relaxation exercises, mindfulness, and counseling may help some psoriasis patients manage their symptoms.
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Dr. Suvash Sahu
Dr. Suvash Sahu



dry skinautoimmune disordervitamin d deficiencypsoriasis
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