Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown cause, which manifests in lifelong outbreaks. It has an significant genetic predisposition and many patients have some family member affected.
The skin lesions are inflamed, irritated, and scaly patches. It can affect not only the trunk and limbs, but also the scalp (in the form of erythemotokeratic patches) and the nails (psoriatic onychopathy). There is also a special type of psoriasis which only develops in creases (the armpits, the groin, etc.) consisting in exudative inflammatory plaques with well-defined edges, frequently undiagnosed. It's very important that the dermatologist inquire about joint pain with all patients who have psoriasis or a family history of it, as there can be the joints can be affected, which can be extremely debilitating in the absence of prior diagnosis.
Treatment of psoriasis progresses through a great variety of topical treatments and, depending on its severity the overall health of the patient, systemic treatments may begin with a rigorous dermatological examination.