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- Psoriasis facts
- What is psoriasis?
- What causes psoriasis?
- What does psoriasis look like? What are psoriasis symptoms and signs?
- What does psoriasis look like? What are psoriasis symptoms and signs? (Continued)
- Can psoriasis affect my joints?
- How is psoriasis diagnosed?
- Can psoriasis affect only my nails?
- How many people have psoriasis?
- Is psoriasis curable?
- Is psoriasis contagious?
- Can I transmit the gene for psoriasis to my children?
- What kind of doctor treats psoriasis?
- What is the treatment for psoriasis?
- What creams, lotions, and home remedies are available for psoriasis?
- What oral medications are available?
- What injections or infusions are available for psoriasis?
- What injections or infusions are available for psoriasis? (Continued)
- What about light therapy for psoriasis?
- Where can I get more information on psoriasis?
- Is there a national psoriasis support group?
- What is my long-term prognosis with psoriasis? What are complications of psoriasis?
- What does the future hold?
Can psoriasis affect my joints?
Yes, psoriasis is associated with joint problems in about 10%-35% of patients. In fact, sometimes joint pains may be the only sign of the disorder with completely clear skin. The joint disease associated with psoriasis is referred to as psoriatic arthritis. Patients may have inflammation of any joints (arthritis), although the joints of the hands, knees, and ankles tend to be most commonly affected. Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory, destructive form of arthritis and is treated with medications to stop the disease progression.
The average age for onset of psoriatic arthritis is 30-40 years of age. In most cases, the skin symptoms occur before the onset of the arthritis.
How is psoriasis diagnosed?
The diagnosis of psoriasis is typically made by a physician examination, medical history, and relevant family history. Sometimes, lab tests including a microscopic examination of a skin biopsy and X-rays may necessary.
Can psoriasis affect only my nails?
Yes, psoriasis may involve solely the nails in a limited number of patients. Usually, the nail symptoms accompany the skin and arthritis symptoms. Nails may have small pinpoint pits or large yellowish separations of the nail plate called "oil spots." Nail psoriasis is typically very difficult to treat. Treatment option are somewhat limited and include potent topical steroids applied at the nail-base cuticle, injection of steroids at the nail-base cuticle, and oral or systemic medications as described below for the treatment of psoriasis.