Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease characterized by well-defined red plaques with a silvery scale. Occasionally the plaques can be itchy, burning, or stinging. Lesions are most often found on the elbows, knees, extensor limbs, and scalp, although they may occur anywhere on the body. Psoriasis also often involves the nails, causing a pitted surface.
Approximately 1.5-3.5% of the white population has psoriasis. The severity and extent of psoriasis depends on a number of causes including genetic, infectious, emotional, and environmental factors. Psoriasis can be controlled with topical or oral medications, but rarely completely subsides. The overall goal is to decrease the percentage of body surface involved. Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis.
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