Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin problem characterised by scaly raised red areas, known as plaques, which are caused by overproduction of keratinocytes. It can occur at any age and affects around one in 50 people1.
Psoriasis can also involve nails and joints, where it causes swelling and stiffness. It is triggered by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, with stress, viral infections, alcohol, and some medications — such as beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure — known to lead to flare-ups. There is also evidence that psoriasis increases the risk of heart disease2.
Dr Nisa Aslam, advisor to The Skin Life Sciences Foundation says: “These are often complex problems, but the most important take-away message is that effective treatments are available, and you should always seek help from a healthcare professional.”
1 www.bad.org.uk/for-the-public/patient-information-leaflets/psoriasis—an overview/showmore=1&returnlink=https%3a%2f%2fwww.bad.org.uk%2fpatientinformationleaflets#.YFIdAi2l2i4 [last accessed 18 Aug 2021]
2 www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files/121204psoriasis.pdf [last accessed 18 Aug 2021]