What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a type of inflammatory skin disease.3 Psoriasis changes the life cycle of skin cells, which causes them to build up rapidly on the surface on the skin. These extra skin cells form thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches (plaques) that are sometimes painful.
As a chronic condition, psoriasis can continue to develop over the course of your life, even though it can get better or worse over time and may seem to disappear for lengthy periods.6
It’s also important to understand that as an inflammatory disease, psoriasis is not contagious which means you don’t ‘catch it’ and can’t pass it onto anyone else.7
Below shows how this inflammation affects the skin, compared to skin that is not affected by psoriasis. Plaques, scales, and redness can impact the surface, or keratin layer, presenting more noticeable symptoms.4
How common is psoriasis?
About 5% of Australians live with psoriasis – that’s around 900,000 Australians. Both men and women can develop it and, although it occurs in all age groups, psoriasis usually starts in young adults in their early 30s, with 75% of affected people developing psoriasis before they turn 45.7
What are the common symptoms of psoriasis?
Some of the more common symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Raised, red, inflamed lesions covered in silvery scaly plaques
- Small, red, individual spots
- Dry skin that may crack and bleed
- Itching, burning or soreness of the skin
- Thickened, pitted nails, or separation from the nail bed
- Swollen joints6
The symptoms of psoriasis can be like many other skin conditions such as rashes, infections, eczema, and dermatitis.2 Only a healthcare professional can clinically diagnose psoriasis.7 It’s a good time to visit your healthcare professional if your skin condition is:
- Causing discomfort and pain.
- Making it difficult for you to complete everyday tasks.
- Causing you concern about the appearance of your skin.
- Causing swelling.
- Causing your joints pain.6