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Understanding What is Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation in the skin. There are five variants consisting of its own signs and symptoms. Approximately 10% to 30% of people who suffer from the condition become susceptible to an associated form of psoriasis, known as “psoriatic arthritis,” which results to inflammation of the joints.

Of the five variants of the condition, plaque psoriasis is the most common. It affects 8 out of 10 people. It is characterized by patches of raised, reddish skin with silvery-white scale covering. Although it can take place anywhere on the body, plaque psoriasis most frequently forms on the elbows, lower back, knees, and scalp.

The other variants include guttate psoriasis, which involves small reddish spots on the skin. Pustular psoriasis is recognized for its white pustules covering the red skin. Inverse psoriasis is known for its smooth, red lesions forming in the skin folds. Erythrodermic psoriasis is characterized by widespread redness, severe itching, and pain.

Each variant can bring about discomfort. It can lead to itchiness in the skin as well as cracks and bleeding. In severe cases, the patient may find it difficult to sleep at night. The pain associated with the condition can make daily tasks daunting.

Psoriasis can be a chronic condition which can endure throughout the life of the patient. At present, there is no known cure. Flare ups can happen throughout their life. In order to control the signs and symptoms, the individual has to undergo lifelong therapy.

The treatment approach is determined by the degree and kind of psoriasis. In its mild stage, the patient may not be aware that they are suffering from the condition. In severe psoriasis, the lesions may extend throughout majority of the body and may require hospitalization. Majority of psoriasis cases fall in between.

In the United States, 4.5 million adults have been diagnosed with psoriasis and 150,000 new cases are diagnosed yearly. It is estimated that 20% of the patients experience moderate to severe psoriasis. Its prevalence is equal in both genders. Recent studies have established an ethnic link.
Among the various racial groups, the condition is most prevalent in Caucasians and slightly less prominent among African Americans. Across the globe, it is most prominent in Scandinavian countries as well as in other regions of Northern Europe. It is slightly rare among Asians and rare among Native Americans.

In addition, psoriasis is likewise genetically linked. Almost 1/3 of people suffering from the condition have at least one member of the family diagnosed with the condition.

According to research, the signs and symptoms of psoriasis manifest itself between 15 to 35 years old. About 75% show up prior to reaching 40 years old. However, it is likely to suffer from the condition at any age. The peak onset of the condition ranges from 50 to 60 years old.

About 1 in every 10 people is diagnosed with the condition during childhood and begins in infancy. The earlier the onset of the condition is, the higher is the possibility of it being widespread and recurrent.

In the case of psoriatic arthritis, nearly one million people in the United States suffer from the condition and 5% to 10% suffer from disability. Its initial onset is between 30 to 50 years old months after the first appearance of skin lesions. It is worth noting that not everyone diagnosed with the condition suffers from psoriasis.

Understanding what is psoriasis can be effective in preventing and treating the onset of the condition.


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