Psoriasis is a persistent and long-lasting skin condition, characterized by patients developing red, dry and flaky patches of skin with silvery scales, often on the elbows, knees, and scalp. Most cases only affect small patches of skin, but these itch and can be sore. Symptoms may lessen at times but could reappear or get worse at others.
A number of different forms of psoriasis exist, including plaque, nail, scalp, guttate, inverse, pustular, erythrodermic and psoriatic. Triggers of psoriasis may include infections, cold weather, smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, certain medications, stress or injuries to the skin.
Lifestyle changes such as using moisturizer, daily baths and avoidance of triggers may help control the condition. Topical medication, prescription moisturizers and in some cases light therapy are used to treat psoriasis.
Commonly used and prescribed drug classes for the treatment of psoriasis include topical corticosteroids, oral anti-acne retinoids, topical antipruritics, antipsoriatic monoclonal antibodies, calcineurin inhibitors and topical antipsoriasis products.