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Table of Contents

Understanding Psoriatic Disease


Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease, meaning that a dysfunctional immune system is a key cause of the disease. In the case of psoriasis, an overactive immune system can cause a rapid increase in skin cell production that leads to raised, scaly patches on the skin. These patches can be red in Caucasian skin and purple in skin of color. Many people report that psoriasis itches, burns and stings.

Psoriasis is not just a skin disease but a systemic one, which means it affects your whole body. It is associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression. If you develop a rash that doesn’t go away with an over-the-counter medication, you should contact your health care provider.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis is also associated with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). PsA is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the joints and the places where tendons and ligaments connect to bone. Inflammation can lead to swelling, pain, fatigue, and stiffness in the joints. Left untreated, PsA can cause permanent joint damage.

Both psoriasis and PsA can result in chronic pain. To learn more how to effectively manage your pain, request our free Chronic Pain Kit.

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are collectively called psoriatic disease.

Did You Know?

Treatment Options

Treatments include light therapy and topicals applied to the skin (for psoriasis), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (for PsA), and oral treatments, systemics, and biologics (for psoriasis and PsA). Medications might be available over the counter or by prescription, taken orally, by injection, or via intravenous infusion.

Complementary and integrative medicine, such as diet, supplements, yoga, and acupuncture may also help.

Impact of Psoriatic Disease

The NPF has initiated a robust three-year program to raise awareness among public health professionals, health care providers, and the public about psoriasis as an immune-mediated, systemic, inflammatory disease associated with significant comorbidities that impose a significant burden on patients.

Learn more about this program.

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