Psoriasis is a chronic immuno-inflammatory disease that can present in a wide range of different ways – from a few scarring patches on the skin to virtually the whole body. Rashes are more common on the scalp, knees and elbows covered with hair. The classic psoriasis scar is sharply circumscribed, red, slightly higher than the surrounding skin and scaly. Often skin burns are accompanied by nail damage. One third of patients have joint inflammation (psoriatic arthritis) along with skin rash.
The clinical picture is usually sufficient to diagnose psoriasis and no further tests are needed. In some cases – when the clinical picture is more atypical – a skin biopsy may be appropriate.
Treatment for psoriasis is a stepwise approach, which means starting with simpler topical treatments (creams, skin solutions, etc.). Extensive skin or joint problems require systemic treatment (tablet therapy, UVB light therapy, biological injection therapy). In addition to direct treatment, it is advisable to treat any chronic inflammatory conditions such as broken teeth, sinus or tonsillitis, reduce excess weight, and stop smoking and drinking alcohol – studies show that such lifestyle changes ease the course of the disease, significantly contributing to treatment.