Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune inflammatory skin condition affecting more than 7.5 million Americans. It is characterized by thickened, red plaques showing a silvery scale. Psoriasis lesions are most often found on elbows, knees, abdomen, the lower back, legs, and places of injury.
Psoriasis occurs when skin cells multiply at a rapid rate. The typical life of a skin cell – the amount of time it takes for a cell to develop, make its way to the surface of the skin, and exfoliate off by normal activities – is about one month. In patients with psoriasis, this process occurs in as little as one week’s time, causing the cells to accumulate, producing the silvery scale appearance. These cells are triggered to react so rapidly due to one’s immune system and over-reactive T cells. The immune system and over-reactive T cells will determine how rapidly the cells react, triggering psoriasis.
- Mild psoriasis
affects less than 3% of the body. This is equivalent to small patches on the knees or elbows.
- Moderate psoriasis
is diagnosed when psoriasis covers 3% – 10% of the body. This can equal larger portions on both knees and additional psoriasis patches elsewhere on the body such as the abdomen.
- Severe psoriasis
occurs when over 10% of the body is affected by psoriasis. At this stage, if oral and topical medications are not effective in managing the condition, biologics (injections) are often recommended for treatment.
- Psoriasis can be managed by a variety of treatment options including topical or oral medications, biologics (injections), light therapy, and basic skincare products. Which products work best to manage your psoriasis often depends on the location and severity of your symptoms. Topical medications and products may be effective when treating mild psoriasis while severe psoriasis patients often turn to proven biologics for relief of symptoms.
- To see if we have any active or upcoming clinical trials for psoriasis, click here.