Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Psoriasis Overview

What is psoriasis?
A person with psoriasis has inflammation of the skin that results in a rash. The cause of psoriasis is unknown. About 1 out of 100 people in the US have psoriasis. Psoriasis is a life-long illness, but most people respond well to treatment.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
The most common symptom of psoriasis includes patches of thick, red skin, covered with silver scales. The rash occurs most commonly on the elbows, knees, truck, scalp, skin folds, or buttocks. Additional symptoms of psoriasis include itching, fingernail pitting, joint pains, and joint stiffness. Some may suffer joint deformities, due to psoriatic arthritis, a condition that can be similar to rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of psoriasis may come and go, with some periods of time where they may be little or no rash. The symptoms of psoriasis may be triggered by stress, depression, infection, medications, and cancer.

How does the doctor treat psoriasis?
There is no cure for psoriasis. Treatment for psoriasis includes oatmeal baths (Aveeno), skin moisturizers, phototherapy, topical corticosteroid medications, oral corticosteroid medications, and other medications.

Continue to Psoriasis Incidence

Last Updated: Nov 5, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Psoriasis References
  1. Aaronson DS, Lebwohl M. Review of therapy of psoriasis: the prebiologic armamentarium. Dermatol Clin. 2004 Oct;22(4):379-88, viii. [15450334]
  2. Afifi T, de Gannes G, Huang C, Zhou Y. Topical therapies for psoriasis: evidence-based review. Can Fam Physician. 2005 Apr;51:519-25. [15856971]
  3. Bruner CR, Feldman SR, Ventrapragada M, Fleischer AB Jr. A systematic review of adverse effects associated with topical treatments for psoriasis. Dermatol Online J. 2003 Feb;9(1):2. [12639460]
  4. Mason J, Mason AR, Cork MJ. Topical preparations for the treatment of psoriasis: a systematic review. Br J Dermatol. 2002 Mar;146(3):351-64. [11952534]
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