Psoriasis: Types, Causes and Treatment Image

Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by inflammation of the skin, itching, and thick, red areas of skin covered by silvery scales or flakes. Skin problems caused by psoriasis range from cases so mild that the psoriasis goes unnoticed, to so severe that large areas of the body are covered.

Psoriasis commonly affects the scalp, joints and lower back, although inflammation can occur anywhere on the body. One of the more common types of skin disorders, psoriasis affects between five to seven million people in the United States, and over 150,000 new cases are reported yearly.

Presently, there is no definitive cure for psoriasis, although clinical trials into the nature of psoriasis and other skin disorders are making headway.

With the lack of a psoriasis cure, treatment concentrates on controlling inflammation and other symptoms. Priority is also given to identifying what triggers psoriasis in each patient and avoiding such triggers whenever possible.

New Information on Psoriasis Prevalence

Historically psoriasis was assumed to be a rare condition among black Americans, occurring in about 0.7 percent of the population (as compared to the 2.2 to 2.6 percent prevalence in the American populationat large). Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that out of a pool of greater than 27 thousand participants an expected 2.5 percent of Caucasian participants had psoriasis. The surprises were that psoriasis was diagnosed more often among both Caucasian and black women than men, and that it affected 1.3 percent of black Americans, almost twice as often as thought. In addition, black Americans reported more extensive psoriasis plaques than Caucasians.

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Gelfand, J.M., Stern, R.S., Nijsten, T., Feldman, S.R., Thomas, J., Kist, J., Rolstad, T.