Dermatologists and Skin Care

Psoriasis - Symptoms, Types, and Treatment

Written by Dr. Rabia and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan


Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease characterized by red and scaly lesions on the body, more commonly over the extensor surfaces of the body. Psoriasis is a multifactorial disease, meaning its exact cause is not known, but it is influenced by factors such as environment, genes, and infections.

What Are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?

The symptoms of psoriasis are itching and excessive scaliness. Patients of psoriasis have significant impairment in their quality of life due to depression and suffering associated with the disease. Apart from skin, it also affects the nails and joints of individuals. Patients suffering from it also have scalylesionsin the scalp.

This disease is now considered to be systemic because studies show that it involves not only skin but also affects other systems in the body. Psoriasis is commonly seen with metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of obesity, hypertension, and cardiac disease.

What Are the Types of Psoriasis?

The different types of psoriasis are:

  1. Psoriasis vulgaris (the most common and plaque-type).
  2. Guttate psoriasis.
  3. Erythroderma.
  4. Flexural psoriasis.
  5. Rupioid.
  6. Elephantine psoriasis.

What Are the Risk Factors?

It can occur at any age, in childhood, in adults, or old age. Sometimes, it gets precipitated during pregnancy. Psoriasis can be triggered by infections, drugs, sunlight, smoking, and alcohol.

How Is Psoriasis Treated?

Psoriasis is treated according to its severity.

  • For mild disease, only topical steroids are enough. Other topical options are Dithranol, coal tar, and topical vitamin D analog. Phototherapy is a good option for its treatment especially if it is not responding to topical treatment.
  • In systemic treatment, most commonly prescribed medicine is Methotrexate. Other options are Ciclosporin, Retinoids and newer biological agents that have significantly improved quality of life.
Last reviewed at: 16.Mar.2019



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