Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterised by red and scaly plaque rash. It is thought to be immune-mediated inflammatory (autoimmune) disease. It is not contagious. Psoriasis also can affect nails and joints (causing psoriatic arthritis). Psoriasis affects 2-4% of males and females. It affects at any age from childhood to adult. It has peaks onset of 30-39 years and 50-69 years.
Risk factor for triggering or worsening psoriasis:
- Family history especially in those with first degree relatives. Genetics suspectibility with major histocompatibility complex on chromosome 6p21, IL-12 and IL-23 genes had been implicated in psoriasis
- Drugs such as Lithium, Beta- blockers, antimalarials, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Infections due to viral or bacterial infections. Poststreptococcal infection causes flare of guttate psoriasis. HIV is known to worsen the condition of psoriasis.
- Excess alcohol consumption
Psoriasis usually presents with symmetrically distributed, red, scaly plaques with well defined borders. The scale can be silvery white and may have peeling surface. Scaling and redness of skin occurs due to increased growth than normal and cells turnover in psoriasis with inflammation. In normal skin, the skin cells turnover is 27 days but in psoriasis, the skin cells turnover become shortened to 4 days. The most common sites affected are scalp, elbows and knees. In severe form of psoriasis, it can affect the whole body. Some patient can complain itchy of the skin leading to scratching and lichenification (thickened leathery skin).
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