psoriasis
PSORIASIS

Psoriasis is a systemic chronic skin disorder characterized by excessive keratinocyte proliferation that results into thickened scaly plaques, itching and inflammatory changes in the epidermis and dermis. It is transmitted genetically but can be provoked by environmental factors.
It is found in approximately 2% of the population that primarily affects the skin and joints.
It is associated with other inflammatory disorders and autoimmune diseases (eg psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, coronary artery disease).
Generally, it begins as red scaling papules that coalesce to form round-to-oval plaques. The rashes are often pruritic and may be painful.

Patient Education

  • Patient and family education is the key to successful management
  • Patient should understand that psoriasis is a chronic disease and treatment will only control the symptoms but not cure it
  • Assure patient that psoriasis is quite common and not contagious
  • Discuss various therapeutic options, side effects and expected results
  • Discuss possible exacerbating factors
    • Medications: Beta blockers, Lithium, antimalarials
    • Bacterial or viral infections 
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle
    • Regular exercise
    • Maintain ideal body weight (BMI of 18.5-24.9)
    • No to mild alcohol consumption
    • Smoking cessation
  • Patients with any type of psoriasis should be informed of a potential increased risk for coronary artery disease
  • Advise patients to follow up yearly especially for the 1st 10 years from initial diagnosis
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