Psoriasis is an
obstinate skin condition in which red patches of various sizes develop
on the skin that are covered with dry, silvery scales. Psoriasis is a
chronic skin disease that got its name from the Greek word meaning,
In psoriasis the skin
becomes inflamed and red eruptions appear on the surface of the skin
that begin to itch excessively. These areas form thickened areas
(plaques) that are covered with silvery scales over the reddened
lesions. The skin at the joints may crack.
Psoriasis most often occurs on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back,
palms, and soles of the feet. However, no area
of the skin is exempt,
including the genital area. The disease may also affect the fingernails
and toenails, and the soft tissues inside themouth. About 15 percent of
people with psoriasis have joint inflammation that produces arthritis
symptoms.This condition is called psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis is
categorized as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the percentage of
body surface involved and the impact on the patient's quality of life.
Course of diseases:
The course of psoriasis is characterized by remissions and relapse. At
some instances the patches disappear, just to appear after some period of time. There are
various factors ranging from climate, stress, infections and
injuries that can trigger flare up of disease within short
span of time even within few days. On the other hand there
are certain other factors such as sunlight that
significantly reduces the intensity of problem.
Impact on health:
In some cases, psoriasis is so mild that it may go
unnoticed. At the opposite extreme, there are victims having
psoriatic patches almost everywhere on the body. People with
psoriasis may suffer discomfort, including pain and itching,
restricted motion in their joints, and emotional distress.
The unpleasant appearance of the patches, the chronic
itching and flaking of psoriasis although is not life
threatening, has definite impact on the self-esteem and life
style of the psoriasis victim. Substantial time and money
are spent trying to keep it under control.
Psoriasis affects between 1-2 percent of general population.
In US alone there are about 5.5 to 6 million people
suffering from psoriasis.
Both males and females get psoriasis in equal numbers. It
can strike at any age, but most often in adults between 15
and 35 years. However, a first-time diagnosis of psoriasis
has been seen in very old people, and in newborn babies and
Psoriasis is a chronic (long-lasting) skin disease
characterized by scaling and inflammation.
Our skin is mainly made up of two layers: epidermis (outer
layer) and dermis (inner layer). The cells of epidermis are
borne in dermis and then they move up. At a regular interval
of 28-30 days, the cells of epidermis are replaced by new
cells formed in dermis.
In psoriasis, this process of cell production in dermis is
sped up. New cells are formed and moved upward to the skin
surface faster than they can be incorporated into skin. The
excess cells accumulate and are scaled off in the form of
Psoriatic plaque has other features also, including
inflammatory cells and dilated small blood vessels that
contribute to both the appearance and the symptoms of a