Psoriasis is a common skin condition, characterised by red, scaly areas of thickened skin. It can start at any age, including childhood, and tends to persist for life. It can affect people with any skin tone or colour, and about one third of patients will have another family member with this condition. People with psoriasis may also have other internal health problems, such as arthritis, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
The most common sites on the body affected by psoriasis are the scalp, elbows, and knees, however, any part of the skin can be involved. Skin affected by psoriasis can be itchy, painful or bleed, and after the rash has been treated there may be brown or pale marks left behind. These can sometimes take months to fade.
People with psoriasis can make lifestyle changes to help their skin condition, and benefit other health conditions, including maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, not smoking, and avoiding excessive alcohol. Psoriasis has traditionally been treated with creams, tablets, and a light treatment called phototherapy. There are also new injectable treatments available, which have been life changing for many patients.
See your GP if you think you may have this condition or any other concerns with your skin.