The most frequent symptoms are itching and rashes on the skin, which are characterized by redness and scaling. The areas of the body that are affected more frequently are the elbows, knees, scalp, and core.
In recent years, our knowledge of the physiopathology of the disease has increased, and scientific research has shown that psoriasis is a systemic inflammatory disease that is associated with the recording of various comorbidities.
The prevalence of psoriatic arthritis is also high, in the region of 30%. Psoriatic arthritis is characterized by pain and progressive lesions on the joints. If psoriatic arthritis is not treated at an early stage, it can cause joint deformity or destruction, and disability.
In patients suffering from psoriasis, it often coexists with metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and abdominal obesity). Furthermore, severe psoriasis is significantly correlated with increased predisposition to cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction, etc.). The cardiovascular risk is even higher in young people who suffer from a severe disease.
The disease affects negatively the quality of life of patients, as well as their relatives.
Treatment is customized to each patient, depending on the severity and form of the disease, as well as the age of the patient. Mild forms of psoriasis are treated with topical cortisone preparations, or a combination of corticosteroids with vitamin D, or the latest calcineurin antagonists.
In more severe forms of the disease, drugs can be administered orally, such as immunosuppressants (cyclosporine, methotrexate) or retinoids (vitamin A derivatives), apremilast (phosphodiesterase-4 inhibitor), as well as treatments with biological agents that belong to various categories, such as anti-TNF agents (with Etarnecept, Adalimumab, Ifliximab, and Certolizumab as main representatives), or anti-IL12/23 (with Ustekinumab as representative), and IL-17A inhibitor (with Secukinumab and Brodalumab as representatives).
A key role can also be played by a balanced diet. This means that foods that are believed to aggravate psoriasis should be avoided, such as meat, eggs, and animal fats and their derivatives, whereas oily fish and their oils are recommended. In recent years, psoriasis treatments have been constantly evolving, in order to get new and modern medicines that are extremely effective.