Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition that can affect skin as well as nails and joints. Areas of the body most commonly affected are the scalp, elbows and knees where the skin can become red, scaly and itchy.

There is no known cure for psoriasis, but it can be controlled with the help of treatments including topical coal tar and corticosteroid medications recommended by your doctor.

Psoriasis is a long-term (chronic) condition usually diagnosed by a doctor. It tends to come and go (flare-up) over time and so ongoing treatment is required to keep skin clear of the condition or treat any joint symptoms.

What are the different types of Psoriasis?

Psoriasis can come in different forms – the most common being plaque psoriasis — typically thick, sharp edged areas of red scaly skin commonly seen on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp (although it can affect any part of the body).

It can also affect how nails grow making them more brittle and appear pitted. The joints of someone with psoriasis may also be affected causing a form of arthritis which makes them painful, swollen and can reduce movement.

What is the main cause of psoriasis?

Psoriasis can develop at any age but usually starts in young adults around the age of 30 years. The exact cause is not fully understood, but it is thought to be linked to a genetic (inherited) factor that causes the immune system in the skin to react to certain things in the environment.

Doctors may recommend different types of treatments depending on what type of symptoms you have and how severe they are, including:

  • Topical treatments applied directly to the affected skin such as corticosteroids creams, vitamin D or coal tar products
  • Systemic treatments that work from inside the body
  • Ultraviolet (UV) phototherapy.

Learn more about using Sigmacort for other conditions such as:


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