Last Updated on Oct 12, 2020


Psoriasis is a recurrent and complex inflammatory skin disorder that can have tremendous physical and psychological impact on the sufferer.

Psoriasis is a complex, inflammatory disease which mostly affects the skin and joints. It is however not a contagious disease.

The disease affects both males and females of all age group. Nevertheless it mostly makes its mark for the first time in young individuals between the age of 15-20 years. It is quite unusual for the disease to manifest before the age of 5 years.

The incidence of psoriasis in the western populance is between 2-3% . There are more than 5 million Americans who have psoriasis, and it is estimated that the burden of the disease costs $1.6 to $3.2. billion each year (National Psoriasis Foundation).

Every year 150,000 and 260,000 new cases are diagnosed and this includes 20,000 in children who are younger than 10 years.

"This disease is common, chronic, and costly, both in monetary terms and in quality of life," says Jonathan Wilkin, M.D., Director of the FDA’s Division of Dermatologic and Dental Drug Products. The incidence of the disease is quite low in some populations,like the Japanese.

According to a study in India, 60% of the patients had the disease onset before the age of 30 years, with a positive family history in almost 14% of the cases. Skin and scalp were the most commonly affected site.

The inheritance of psoriasis does not fit into the Mendelian pattern. When one parent has the disease the chances of the child to develop the disease is 15-20%; if both parents have the disease, the chances of the child getting the disease is 50 percent.

One of the longest known illness, psoriasis is also one of the most misunderstood, as it was often confused with leprosy.

In 1841 a Viennese dermatologist Ferdinand Von Hebra assigned the word ‘Psoriasis’ to this disease. The word was coined from the Greek word ‘psora’-meaning ‘to itch’.

Plaque psoariasis or psoriasis vulgaris is the most common form of the disease. There are typically, red scaly patches - called psoriatic plaques that appear on the skin of affected persons. These plaques are inflammatory sites where the skin rapidly accumulates, thereby, taking on a silvery white appearance. When the scales are removed, the skin underneath is tender and tends to bleed and results in the inflamed patches.

In the case of a normal skin, the production and proliferation of the epidermal layer of the skin takes about 28 days to complete, while in the case of psoriasis, it is restricted to just 4 days. This results in the pile up of immature skin cells - a special feature characteristic to psoriatic lesion .

The severity with which psoriasis occur varies. The plaques may occur as local patches or they may be distributed all over the body. They frequently affect the skin covering the elbows and knees but may also occur on the scalp, finger or toe nails or on the genital area. In some cases, it may cause psoriatic arthritis or inflammation of the joints. This condition is observed in 10-15% of psoriasis patients.

The pathogenesis of psoriasis is yet unknown but it is believed to be immune-mediated. Genes may play a role in its development.

The psychological impact of the disease is inevitable because of the unattractive skin manifestations. Most often the patients are depressed and suffer from very low self-esteem. As such, their lifestyle becomes compromised.

Psoriasis treatment continues to be a challenge due to the recurrent nature of the disease. There is no cure for the disease.

Disease management will be dependant on its severity, its impact on the patient and also on the patient’s lifestyle. Those involved in the care of psoriatic patients must be skilled in the art of disease management and must also be capable of motivating the patient.

Fig: Psoriasis affected areas of the body.


a) Br J Nurs. 2008 Mar 13-26;17(5):284-90.
Ryan S.

b) J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 May;58(5):851-64
Gottlieb A, et al

c) J Reprod Med. 2008 Mar;53(3):183-7.
Ben-David G, Sheiner E, Hallak M, Levy A.

d) Clin Chim Acta. 2008 Apr 12.
Pietrzak AT, etal

e) Arch Dermatol Res. 2008 Apr 30
Gunes Y, etal

f)Principles & Practice of Medicine

Latest Publications and Research on Psoriasis


@Guest Friday, December 8, 2017

We at leucoderma foundation of India practicing immunology boosting rather than immunology suppression and advocating self blood 2ml with inj beta methadone 2mg intramuscular every 4th day or every week till patient had complete relief of presentation and on complete symptomatic relief ,administered in tapering dose , literature will be published very shortly

@Guest Thursday, June 5, 2014

Will psoriasis affect young adults, is that genetic or contagious disease?

mandysimpkins414 Saturday, February 8, 2014

I suffered from same problem too, but I was cured now. It was bad, and makes me very unhappy. I live in China. Here we use Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat skin problems, I went to many hospitals like this and tried many different treatments, but the effect is not very good until I went to a hospital in the North of China. It works, and now I am a happy person again, I am glad to share this with you, you may not able to go there, but you can talk to their doctors for advice. you can find more information on the website of vitiligotcm.

lin70 Saturday, January 26, 2013

i have been trying to deal with this disease for years i tried treatments but gotten temporary results ,till i have heard of this i call a prayer answered someone visited me and told me just put male sperm and you will never see Psoriasis again and i had nothing to lose so i did and it worked yes the thought of it bothered me but as long as it works and it did natural medicine got rid of my psoriasis

mc1978 Sunday, January 19, 2014

My wife has fairly serious psoriasis. I told her about it and we are going to try it. Have you continued this practice and is it still working?

Rosali Monday, May 21, 2012

Psoriasis is a common multi factorial, non-contagious, auto-immune skin disease. It affects adults and children in equal proportion. The exact cause osof psoriasis is unknown. There is evidence of a genetic predisposition. A positive family history is often observed. Psoriasis, being an autoimmune disorder has autosomal dominant inheritance. People with dry skin are more likely to develop psoriasis than those with oily or well-moisturized skin. There are many precipitating and aggravating factors so it keeps on recurring and becomes difficult to treat. Combination of ayurvedic herbs and homoeopathic remedies gives good results. These remedies along with nutritional supplements acts on the body and balance the altered immune responses. These are 100% natural and safe, free from side effects and they are not habit forming. Some of the frequently used remedies are C54 PSORAease formula and R65 Reckeweg PSORAease formula. These remedies work by relieving inflammation and reducing the itching of the skin, softening your hardened skin, aidding shredding of silvery scales and working on the immune system making it less responsive to triggering factors.

@Guest Friday, February 20, 2015

Hi, I have tried homeopathic treatment for my Psoriasis but I had a major flare up. I had gone to the doctor with the complaint of disease on my scalp and leg and after 3 months of taking the medicine its all over my body.

View More Comments

Do you wish to consult Diabetologist for your problem? Ask your question

Most Popular on Medindia