Psoriasis is a distressing condition and is probably the most researched skin condition worldwide. It is characterized by red, scaly patches (plaques) on the skin. Recent data suggests that psoriasis may be associated with other conditions such as obesity, alcohol intake, cardiovascular disease, and joint pains etc. Proper medical history, counselling and thorough examination are crucial in cases of psoriasis as early treatment leads to better outcomes and to stalling of the so called “psoriatic march” which may later on lead to systemic manifestations. Psoriasis may occur early or later in life and can affect any age group, sex or race.
Psoriasis is considered to be genetic in nature and although it carries a considerable social stigmatisation with it, it is not a contagious condition. Although, certain environmental factors are believed to trigger psoriasis, such as infections, drugs (topical or oral) and genetic predisposition, the exact cause of psoriasis or trigger of psoriasis still eludes us. It is believed that psoriasis gets worse in winter months. Although it is not completely curable, it may disappear and may reappear after some time.
What are the treatment options available for Psoriasis?
The treatment of psoriasis is multi-pronged, i.e., depending upon the associated conditions it may require the help of other specialists as well. Depending upon the body surface area involved and the severity of the psoriasis, it may be treated with topical medications alone or a combination of topical drugs, light therapy and systemic drugs. Further, as research in this field has been immense, today we have the option of targeted treatment for psoriasis which is in the form of injectables (biologicals for psoriasis) and provides the patient with faster relief, decreased joint pains and also longer periods of remission.