What is psoriasis?

Updated: Mar 17, 2021
  • Author: Jacquiline Habashy, DO, MSc; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Psoriasis is a chronic, noncontagious, multisystem, inflammatory disorder. Patients with psoriasis have a genetic predisposition for the illness, which most commonly manifests itself on the skin of the elbows, knees, scalp, lumbosacral areas, intergluteal clefts, and glans penis. The joints are also affected by psoriasis in up to 30% of patients with the disease. (See Pathophysiology and Etiology.)

Psoriasis has a tendency to wax and wane with flares related to systemic or environmental factors, including life stress events and infection. It impacts quality of life and potentially long-term survival. There should be a higher clinical suspicion for depression in the patient with psoriasis. (See Prognosis.)


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