Psoriasis is one of
the most stubborn skin diseases. It is a chronic disease characterized
by thick, red, silvery, scaled patches of skin. This disease affects
both sexes equally and usually first appears at the age ranging from 15
to 30 years, although it may appear at any age. It is, however, rare in
infancy and old age. Psoriasis is not contagious.
Generally, the skin
of the person suffering from psoriasis appears red and irritated and
may be covered with bright silvery scales. Sometimes there is also a
little itching. Areas usually involved are elbows, knees, and the skin
behind the ears, trunk and scalp. The disease may also affect the
underarm and genital areas. The lesions vary in size from minute
papules only just visible, to sheets covering large parts of the body.
Quite often, they are discs from 1.5 cm. to several centimeters in
size. The lesions of psoriasis are always dry and rarely become
The modern medical
system has not been able to establish the exact cause of psoriasis.
Recent studies have shown that psoriasis involves an abnormality in the
mechanism in which the skin grows and replaces itself. This abnormality
is related to the metabolism of amino-acids, the protein chemicals
which are nature’s basic building blocks for the reproduction of cell
plays a role in the development of psoriasis as it tends to occur in
families. About 30 per cent of the patients have a family history of
The factors that
aggravate and precipitate the outbreak of psoriasis are injury to the
skin in the form of cuts, burns, minor abrasions, changes in the
seasons, physical and emotional stress, infections and use of certain
medicines for the treatment of other diseases.