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Psoriasis - What is it

Psoriasis is an autoimmune, common and chronic skin condition that affects men and women of all ages and about 1-3% of the world’s population.


What exactly is it?

The word “psoriasis” comes from the ancient Greek word “mange” (psora) which means scales. It occurs with intense skin manifestations, which are often found in conspicuous places and lead to an unsightly appearance. This is why they are often treated with fear by patients.

Psoriasis can occur at any age. The duration of the disease varies depending on the case, but in most patients, periods of flare-ups and remission alternate for many years during their lifetime in different clinical stages of psoriasis. With proper treatment, patients can learn to live with their condition and be in remission for a long period of time.

It is, after all, a multifactorial disease that can be caused by genetic, immunological, environmental and psychological factors. The disease causes itching in 60-70% of cases, is not contagious, is not caused by an allergy and is due to a genetic or hereditary predisposition. Approximately 1/3 of sufferers have a patient in their family. Other risk factors for psoriasis are smoking, sun exposure, seasonal changes, certain medications, especially antihypertensive drugs, as well as stress and alcoholism.

Psoriasis on hand.

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For each type of psoriasis, a different treatment is effective. The treatment of psoriasis is not easy and one should consult specialized Dermatologists – Venereologists. The methods available for treating Psoriasis are as follows:

  • Is psoriasis curable?

    The skin disease is considered incurable and chronic, and no definitive cure has yet been found. It is not unlikely to suddenly subside and stay in remission, but many times the symptoms return. However, most treatments contribute significantly to symptom suppression, with long periods of disease clearance, and greatly improve patients’ quality of life. Now with modern treatments with biologic agents we achieve impressive clearance and stabilization for a long period of time.

  • How long does the treatment of psoriasis last?

    Your dermatologist will advise you on the indicated duration of treatment, as it depends on the type of treatment and the type of psoriasis. However, there should always be a maintenance treatment as there is no definitive treatment that promises no recurrence in the future.


Types of Psoriasis according to symptoms

  • Plaque Psoriasis

    It is the most common type of psoriasis that manifests itself with red and white scaly plaques on the surface of the skin and its characteristic symptoms are itching, scaling and spotting.

  • Psoriasis from Staphylococcus aureus

    It is characterized by the appearance of small, scaly pink or red drop-shaped lesions. These lesions appear on extensive areas of the body, such as the trunk, limbs and perhaps the scalp and face. Psoriasis symptoms of this type usually appear very suddenly and in younger patients, especially after a streptococcal infection.

  • Inverse Psoriasis

    Usually occurs in overweight people, in the underarm, groin, lower abdomen and chest areas. Psoriasis symptoms of this type do not include scaling, but redness in the area of the folds with clear borders. It is aggravated by rubbing the area and sweating, is susceptible to fungal infections and can cause severe pain and itching.

  • Pustular Psoriasis

    Appears as clearly excoriated small pus-filled bumps, mainly on the palms and soles. The skin around them is sensitive, red and dry. There are 2 main types of pustular psoriasis, localized, which is limited to the hands and feet, and extensive, where psoriasis symptoms appear anywhere on the body.

  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis

    It is a particularly important inflammatory form of psoriasis that appears as extensive inflammation and peeling of the skin almost all over the body. The skin becomes red and is accompanied by itching, swelling and pain. It can be fatal because it increases the heart rate, raises the body temperature and causes thermoregulatory and hemodynamic disturbances in the body.


Types according to location

  • Nail psoriasis

    Occurs on the nails of the hands and feet. It causes discoloration, yellowish color of the nails, lines along the nails, hardening of the skin under the nails, crumbling and detachment of the nails surrounding them with inflammation. Symptoms of psoriasis of this type include subungual spotting.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis

    The person suffers from both psoriasis and arthritis or perhaps arthritis alone, and the symptoms are inflammation in the joints and connective tissue. It occurs most often in the fingers and toes and causes swelling. It also affects the hips, knees and spine. About 10-30% of psoriasis sufferers also have psoriatic arthritis.

  • Psoriasis of the scalp

    It manifests as hyperkeratotic plaques on the scalp with intense itching, pain, flaking (dandruff-like) and discomfort to the patient.

  • Psoriasis of the genitals

    Genital psoriasis is a form of inverse psoriasis. In this type, genital psoriasis does not show hyperkeratosis due to the specific environment of the area. Genital psoriasis is characterized by red itchy plaques with clear borders very similar to a fungal infection. Genital psoriasis requires specific treatment as the area is sensitive to corticosteroids.

  • Psoriasis on the face

    Psoriasis on the face is rarer than psoriasis of other areas of the body. Usually, the occurrence of psoriasis on the face is also associated with a more severe prognosis of the disease in general. It may have the appearance of red plaques with fine scaling or resemble smooth facial warts. The treatment of facial psoriasis requires a specialized Dermatologist – Venereologist as this area is quite sensitive to corticosteroids.

Psoriasis on the head.

Clinical stages

  • 1. Severe psoriasis, rapidly progressive

    In this stage psoriasis has a droplet-like form and gradually takes over the whole body.

  • 2. Chronic progressive psoriasis

    It is the common plaque psoriasis where symptoms may remain stable for years and progress very slowly.

  • 3. Psoriasis vulgaris (chronic stationary psoriasis)

    In this stage the lesions of psoriasis remain stationary, do not increase in size, are dull red in color and remain stable.

  • 4. Chronic psoriasis

    In this stage, usually after psoriasis treatment, the plaques become smaller, their colour becomes dull red and gradually fade.