Psoriasis is a genetically determined (sporadic) common, chronic, epidermal proliferative disease clinically characterized by erythematous, dry scaling patches, recurring remissions and exacerbations.
Flares may be related to systemic and environmental factors. Psoriasis usually appears between ages 10 and 30, but can develop in infants and in the elderly. There are several clinical forms:
Discoid or plaque psoriasis is the most common. Patches appear on scalp, trunk and limbs. The nails may be pitted and/or thickened.
Guttate psoriasis occurs most frequently in children, numerous small papules over wide area of skin, but greatest on the trunk
Pustular psoriasis has small pustules over the body or confined to one area (i.e., palms and soles) or arranged in annular patterns (especially children).
Inverse flexural psoriasis affects the flexural areas, lesions are moist and without scales (common in older people)/
Erythroderma (exfoliative psoriasis or red man syndrome) patients skin turns red, may result from a flare of pre-existing dermatosis
Ostraceous is grossly hyperkeratotic.
Risk factors for psoriasis include: Local trauma; Local irritation; Infection (streptococcal pharyngitis can stimulate acute guttate psoriasis, HIV); Endocrine changes; Stress (physical and emotional); Sudden withdrawal of systemic and/or potent topical steroids; Alcohol use; and Obesity.
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