Psoriasis is a systemic skin disease accompanied by various additional diseases.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune, chronic, recurrent skin disease marked by appearance of red, clearly delineated plaques covered with silver-white scales. Psoriasis is a systemic disease. Patients who suffer from psoriasis are more prone to hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases. Psoriasis affects the quality of patient’s life and has a negative effect on psychological health, as well as on patient’s social status. Psoriasis is still extensively researched in order to make its treatment as efficient as possible and to improve the quality of life of the affected.
Before medical experts and scientists reach new insights, these are the 9 most important facts about this disease:
1. It is considered that psoriasis is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The insights on inheriting psoriasis within family pointed to the significance of genetic factors in the disease’s development. Inheriting is polygenic, and the population studies discovered various genetic loci that play a role in inheriting psoriasis on the 1st, 6th, and 17th chromosome.
2. Approximately one third of psoriasis patients start suffering from the disease before 15 years of age.
3. Physical stress and respiratory infections are the most important triggers for psoriasis.
4. Clinical forms of psoriasis are plaque or vulgar psoriasis, pustulous psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis, palmoplantar psoriasis and arthropatic psoriasis. The most common type is vulgar psoriasis, which affects 80 to 90% of the patients. Chronic stationary psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris) is the most common clinical type of psoriasis, which is manifested by appearance of red rings covered with silver-white scales.
5. 30 to 40% of the patients suffering from psoriasis also suffer from psoriatic arthritis.
6. Psoriasis patients have a greater risk of suffering from obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes type 2, myocardial infraction and depression.
7. Psoriasis is not a contagious disease.
8. Depending on the size of the affected skin, psoriasis can be mild (up to 3%), moderate (3-10%) or severe (>10%). Mild types of psoriasis are treated with local therapy (corticosteroids, vitamin D3 analogues, immunomodulators, retinoids), the moderate ones with local and phototherapy (UVB, PUVA), and severe types with systemic therapy (PUVA, conventional and biological medications)
9. Systemic therapy can prevent the development of psoriasis and the associated diseases and improve the quality of life. In order to achieve long-term success in treating the disease, the therapy has to be adjusted to an individual, and include psychotherapy.