Overview

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition of the skin characterised by red scaly patches. These patches frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area, including the scalp and genitals. The disorder is a chronic or recurring condition which can vary in severity, from minor localised patches to complete body coverage. Fingernails and toenails are frequently affected, as are the joints (psoriatic arthritis).

Symptoms

What are the signs of Psoriasis?

Common signs and symptoms of psoriasis include:

Red, raised, inflamed patches of skin

Red, raised, inflamed patches of skin

 Blisters oozing  pus

Blisters oozing pus

Pitted, discoloured, and possibly thickened fingernails and/or toenails

Pitted, discoloured, and possibly thickened fingernails and/or toenails

Itching and burning sensations around patches

Itching and burning sensations around patches

Dry skin that may crack and bleed

Dry skin that may crack and bleed

Joint pain (psoriatic arthritis)

Joint pain (psoriatic arthritis)

Sensitivity to friction and sweating

Sensitivity to friction and sweating

Possible swelling & soreness of the affected areas

Possible swelling & soreness of the affected areas

Causes

What are the causes of Psoriasis?

Doctors are unclear of the direct cause of psoriasis. However, research shows two key factors that play a role: genetics and the immune system. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition. Autoimmune conditions are the result of the body attacking itself. In the case of psoriasis, white blood cells known as T cells mistakenly attack the skin cells.

Some people inherit genes that make them more likely to develop psoriasis. If you have an immediate family member with psoriasis, your risk for developing it is higher.

Diagnosis

How do I know if I have Psoriasis?

If you have symptoms of psoriasis, your doctor or dermatologist can make a diagnosis by examining your skin. If your symptoms are unclear, your doctor may take a biopsy of the skin for more detailed examination. Your doctor will identify the types of lesions and their severity to determine the best treatment. They may also request the following tests:

Allergy panel IgA, IgE, IgG and inhalants (blood)

Allergy panel IgA, IgE, IgG and inhalants (blood)

GI Mapping stool test

GI Mapping stool test

Find a Practitioner

See a list of practitioners who specialise in treating Psoriasis