It is caused by an over production of skin cells and, although it is thought to be triggered by the body’s immune system, the process is not fully understood. It can run in families but the genetic influence is unclear.
Patches of skin become red, flaky and scaly and can causes itching or soreness. The most common variety is plaque psoriasis which normally appear on elbows, knees, scalp and lower back though it can appear anywhere on the body.
Some symptoms are mild but a GP will be able to tell by examining your skin and nails before referring you to a dermatologist.
There is no cure but there are treatments to alleviate itching and reduce inflammation but many people have to take different creams and emollients to find a combination that works for their particular condition. Ultraviolet therapies can be used to clear psoriasis and new medications proving to clear the condition in 80% of patients with moderate-to-severe conditions.
Dermatologists are skilled at defining topical or medication regimes and combination therapies that are effective at combatting psoriasis to alleviate the impact of itching and unsightly patches of skin.