Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. An autoimmune disease means the body’s own immune system becomes overactive and attacks normal tissues in the body. In psoriasis, the body makes new skin cells in days rather than weeks. This disease is characterized by thick, scaly patches on the skin called plaques and they tend to vary in size and about 80% to 90% of people with psoriasis get plaques. Plaques can appear anywhere on the skin but most likely areas are Knees, Elbows, Lower back, Scalp. Plaques tend to be itchy and without treatment, it can become intense. Skin stinging, burning, or painful and tight feeling are also noticed by some people. However, Psoriasis is not contagious. The occurrence of psoriasis have been seen in all racial groups at varying rates
The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. Whereas, Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that is different from more common types of arthritis (such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis). About 11 percent of psoriasis patients get diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and approximately 30 percent of psoriasis patients will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis. Men and women develop psoriasis at equal rates and are uncommon in infants, but it does occur. Only close observation can determine if an infant has a disease. Psoriasis can be mild, moderate or severe. Mild psoriasis covers less than 3 percent of the body. Moderate psoriasis covers between 3 and 10 percent of the body and if it is more than 10 percent of the body it is severe. Mild psoriasis can be treated by using topical treatments, such as moisturizers, over-the-counter and prescriptions creams and shampoos. Whereas, moderate to severe psoriasis usually involves a combination of treatment strategies along with phototherapy. Systemic medications, including biologic drugs, are also prescribed if condition significantly impacts the quality of life. It is important to treat psoriatic arthritis early to avoid permanent joint damage
Psoriasis often has a typical appearance but it can be confused with other skin diseases (like eczema). The treatment of psoriasis is decided based on the amount of skin affected, how bad the disease is (e.g., having many or painful skin patches), or the location (especially the face). Treatments range from creams and ointments applied to the affected areas to ultraviolet light therapy to drugs (such as methotrexate). Many people who have psoriasis also have serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Psoriatic arthritis symptoms are similar to other types of arthritis and treatment usually involves the use of drugs (such as methotrexate). The chances of inheriting psoriasis in the generation increase to 50 percent if both the parents have psoriasis which is only 10 percent if the single parent has psoriasis. Scientists now believe that at least 10 percent of the general population inherits one or more of the genes that create a predisposition to psoriasis. The immune system and genetics play a major role in psoriasis development. In 2010, the Centre for Disease control and prevention developed a public health perspective that considered how psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis affect the entire population.