Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriasis vulgaris is a chronic skin condition affecting between 1 and 2 percent of the population in the United States. It shows up as itchy and sometimes painful bright red, scaly plaques, typically on the elbows and knees; however it can affect just about any place on the body, including the hands, feet, nails or genital skin.
In recent years, it has become more widely recognized that moderate to severe psoriasis can have significant harmful associated health effects, including heart disease, obesity, liver disease and related problems. A less commonly recognized issue that can either precede the skin changes or appear years after the rash has been present is psoriatic arthritis. Typically, this form of arthritis is worst in the early morning, and those who suffer from it can take awhile to get moving each day.
This is truly an exciting time for those with psoriasis, as newer targeted therapies have been developed for those who fail to respond to traditional treatments. Each treatment option has certain risks, some serious, but an optimal therapy can be tailored for each individual.