Overview of etiology, diagnosis and management of psoriasis disease

Ilona Šakuro1, Greta Reikertaitė1

1 Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Medical Academy Faculty of medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania


Psoriasis is a common, chronic, autoimmune, and periodically recurrent, inflammatory skin disease. Around 125 million people worldwide suffer from this disease, equally common in men and women, and the onset of the disease is more common at a young age, but can also affect infants and the elderly. Genetic heredity is important for the pathogenesis of this disease, as well as nervous tension, stress, acute and chronic infections (β haemolytic streptococcal sore throat and urethritis), heavy or prolonged alcohol consumption, smoking, malnutrition and metabolic disorders play an important role in the onset of the disease. In the assessment of clinical manifestations, rash is usually observed with limited red nodules of various sizes covered with dry whitish scales (the skin appears as if covered with scales). Initially, skin changes may be extremely minimal, drop-sized, and later as the disease progresses, skin changes may coalesce and merge into palm-sized or larger areas of the rash elements with uneven edges. In severe cases, skin rashes are accompanied by damage to the nails and joints (psoriatic arthritis), and other characteristic autoimmune co-morbidities have been reported: inflammatory bowel, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or metabolic disorders (chronic inflammation affects not only the skin but the entire human body). Psoriasis affects up to 80 percent of patients with skin lesions only and remains mild and localized throughout life, but severe forms severely damage a person’s physical, emotional and mental health, especially when the skin of the face, hands, or scalp is affected. Patients with psoriasis affecting the visible skin or hairy part of the head have a loss of self-confidence, and those with psoriasis are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders. Psoriasis is not curable and is characterized by periodic exacerbations during which more intensive treatment is applied. The spread of the disease and the lesions can be controlled, the treatment consists of several stages, and often several methods of treatment are applied. Treatment is selected according to the severity of the disease, the prevalence of the rash, the patient’s preferences, co-morbidities or efficacy, and other individual factors. In this article, we reviewed the latest scientific literature on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of psoriasis.

Keywords: psoriasis, flaking plates, psoriatic arthritis, keratinocyte hyperproliferation.