Psoriasis, a complex immune–mediated disease

Health Care Comments Off

Psoriasis is a complex immune–mediated disease and is a common disorder that affects men and women equally. The disease can manifest at any age; however, the peak times for disease onset are young adulthood (ages 20 to 30 years) and late middle age (ages 50 to 69 years).

There are several clinical subtypes of psoriasis. The most common presentation of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, which presents as sharply defined erythematous plaques with overlying silvery scales. The most commonly affected areas include scalp, extensor surface of elbows, knees and back.

Psoriasis may also affect the joints. Psoriatic arthritis occurs in about 30 percent of patients with psoriasis, and precedes the skin manifestations in about 15 percent of patients.

In most patients, a diagnosis of psoriasis can be made by history and physical examination. But, sometimes, a skin biopsy is needed to rule out other conditions.

Numerous topical and systemic therapies are available for the treatment of psoriasis. The treatment approach for the individual patient depends on the severity of the disease, relevant comorbidities, patient preference (including cost and convenience), efficacy and evaluation of individual patient response.