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Psoriasis

A chronic disease of the skin marked by red patches covered with white scales. NIH - National Cancer Institute

About Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic (long-lasting) skin disease of scaling and inflammation that affects greater than 3 percent of the U.S. population, or more than 5 million adults. Although the disease occurs in all age groups, it primarily affects adults. It appears about equally in males and females.

Psoriasis occurs when skin cells quickly rise from their origin below the surface of the skin and pile up on the surface before they have a chance to mature. Usually this movement (also called turnover) takes about a month, but in psoriasis it may occur in only a few days... NIH - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Efficacy and safety of adalimumab for plaque psoriasis: a systematic review

Bibliographic details: Sun Y, Wu Y, Chen LH, Liu YB, Gao XH.  Efficacy and safety of adalimumab for plaque psoriasis: a systematic review. Chinese Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine 2010; 10(9): 1085-1095

[Effectiveness of omega-3-fatty acids in psoriasis: a systematic review]

Bibliographic details: Maringer B, Zietemann V, Ratzinger G, Siebert U.  [Effectiveness of omega-3-fatty acids in psoriasis: a systematic review]. [Omega-3-fettsauren bei psoriasis: ein systematischer review zur untersuchung der effektivitat.] Aktuelle Ernahrungsmedizin 2009; 34(4): 195-200

Off-label uses for tumor necrosis factor inhibitors in ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, and psoriasis

Bibliographic details: Piper M A, Seidenfeld J.  Off-label uses for tumor necrosis factor inhibitors in ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, and psoriasis. Chicago, IL, USA: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Technology Evaluation Center. TEC Assessment Program; 18(8). 2003

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Summaries for consumers

Psoriasis: Overview

First off: psoriasis is not contagious. Typical symptoms include clearly defined red, scaly patches of skin, often accompanied by itching. This condition typically starts in adulthood, and comes and goes in cycles of flare-ups and symptom-free phases. There are many treatment options.

Is balneophototherapy an effective treatment for psoriasis?

A combination of bathing and UV light therapy (balneophototherapy) is more effective at treating psoriasis than UV light therapy alone.

Treatments for guttate psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes scaly pink patches. Guttate psoriasis is a particular form of the disease that usually affects children and young adults. It can happen on its own, or as a complication of ordinary (chronic plaque) psoriasis. Often, it follows a bacterial throat infection or tonsillitis. Antibiotics and tonsillectomy as treatments for guttate psoriasis are covered by another review. This review could find no evidence, from trials, about the effects of any other commonly used treatments for guttate psoriasis.

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More about Psoriasis

Photo of an adult

Also called: Psoriatic

Other terms to know:
PUVA Therapy, Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), UVB Radiation

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