Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease which affects the skin and joints. When it affects the skin it commonly appears as red scaly elevated patches called plaques. Psoriasis plaques frequently occur on the elbows and knees, but can affect any area of skin including the scalp and genital area.
Psoriasis can vary in severity, from minor localized patches to extensive or even complete skin coverage. Fingernails and toenails are often affected (psoriatic nail dystrophy). Psoriasis can also cause inflammation of the joints. This is known as psoriatic arthritis.
Who Gets Psoriasis?
More than 4.5 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with psoriasis, and approximately 150,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. An estimated 20% have moderate to severe psoriasis.
Is Psoriasis Gender Biased?
Psoriasis occurs about equally in males and females. Recent studies show that there may be an ethnic link. It seems that psoriasis is most common in Caucasians and slightly less common in African Americans. Worldwide, psoriasis is most common in Scandinavia and other parts of northern Europe. It appears to be far less common among Asians and is rare...