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Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common disease in the community, which lasts for a long time together with exacerbations. It is a skin disease marked by red, itchy, scaly patches. Psoriasis spreads all over the world; genetic and environmental factors affect its frequency. The susceptibility to the disease can be transferred from the parents to the child, but the child may not have the disease. It appears in one or two out of every 100 people. It has an equal frequency with men and women. It usually starts at the age of 15-30. The reason is unknown; immune system, genetic and environmental factors are thought to be effective. Environmental factors (such as streptococcal throat infections, drugs [cortisone, lithium, some blood pressure medications, aspirin, etc.], excessive alcohol consumption, cigarette, scratching, scorching, sunburn etc.) and psychiatric stress may cause or exacerbate it. The disease is not contagious through contact. The disease has no definitive treatment. However, it can be controlled by appropriate treatment and long-term stability can be achieved.

Drugs and behaviours that may exacerbate the disease (scratching, blanching, pouches, etc.) should be avoided.

In limited psoriasis, local treatments are primarily used (corticosteroids that dissolve the skin on the skin surface, anthralin, calcipotriol [synthetic vitamin D], calcineurin inhibitors) and can be used in combination.

Resistant, widespread disease is methotrexate, cyclosporin-A, acitretin (synthetic vitamin A) and phototherapy. Biological agents (adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, ustekinumab, etc.) can be used if there is no response to these. Many factors influence the choice and duration of treatment (prevalence of disease, location, nail and joint involvement, etc.). Dermatologists’ knowledge and experience about disease as well as treatment compliance recommended by patients is also important in the success of treatment.