Psoriasis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


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What is psoriasis?

A persistent inflammatory skin disorder, psoriasis is characterized by red skin covered with whitish scales. This is a chronic disorder, in which, the skin cells multiply ten times faster than normal, causing a build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, that do not fall off, making the skin look scaly.

Psoriasis is generally associated with many other health conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, cardiac diseases, type 2 diabetes, and psoriatic arthritis.

It usually affects the scalp, palms, elbows, knees, torso, and soles of the feet. A few rare types of psoriasis also affects the genital area, nails, and the mouth.

Psoriasis can be of several types such as:

  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Plaque psoriasis
  • Inverse psoriasis
  • Guttate psoriasis
  • Nail psoriasis
  • Pustular psoriasis
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis

How does psoriasis occur?

The skin cells that grow deep within our skin, gradually rise to the surface and eventually fall off as a part of our natural bodily cycle. The usual life cycle of a skin cell is one month. When psoriasis occurs, the cycle is hastened. The skin cells multiply ten times faster than normal, causing a build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin that do not have the time to fall off, once they reach the surface causing a scaly look.

Who is prone to psoriasis?

People who can be prone to psoriasis include:

  • people who have a family history of the disease
  • people who are suffering from infections such as a cold, the flu, or pneumonia
  • people who are stressed
  • people who suffer from type 2 diabetes
  • people who suffer from psoriatic arthritis
  • people who suffer from cardiovascular disease
  • people who suffer from high blood pressure
  • people who suffer from Crohn's disease
  • people who suffer from high cholesterol
  • people who suffer from depression
  • people who suffer from ulcerative colitis
  • people who suffer from HIV, or other viral and bacterial diseases
  • people  who suffer from obesity

What are the causes of psoriasis?

The main causes of psoriasis include:

  • stress
  • injury to the skin (cuts, scrapes, bug bites, severe sunburns)
  • infections such as a cold, the flu, or pneumonia
  • certain medications (including lithium, antimalarials, quinidine, indomethacin)
  • a malfunctioning immune system
  • skin injury
  • HIV
  • obesity

What are the symptoms of psoriasis? How is psoriasis diagnosed?

The symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • scaly reddish patches of skin
  • dry and cracked skin prone to bleeding
  • flaky skin
  • itching and burning in the affected area
  • soreness in the affected area
  • joint stiffness
  • discoloured, ridged and thickened nails
  • swollen and stiff joints


To diagnose psoriasis, the doctor will first ask you about your medical history (especially if there is any family history of psoriasis) and examine your skin, nails, and scalp.

In some cases, the doctor may advise you to undergo a skin biopsy. A local anesthetic will be applied onto your affected skin, and a small sample of the skin will be cut. The sample will be examined under a microscope to determine the type of psoriasis you have, and also rule out any other possible disorders.

What are the complications of psoriasis?

People with psoriasis are at a greater risk of suffering from:

  • joint damage and a loss of function in some joints
  • eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis and uveitis
  • type 2 diabetes
  • cardiovascular disorders
  • autoimmune disorders
  • parkinson’s disease
  • kidney disorders
  • high blood pressure
  • obesity
  • digestive disorders

What is the treatment of psoriasis?

To treat psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe ointments and moisturizers to apply on the affected part of the skin. If the psoriasis is severe the doctor may prescribe phototherapy or light therapy which uses artificial ultraviolet A or ultraviolet B light in combination with medicines.

Oral medicines with injections may also be prescribed depending on the severity of the condition.

Would you like to consult a doctor for Psoriasis ?

Patient Experiences

Jay Kumar
“My Psoriasis became miraculously better in Ayurvedic Treatment with Dr. Chaya”
“My Psoriasis became miraculously better in Ayurvedic Treatment with Dr. Chaya” Hello friends, I wanted to write this article to let people know who are suffering from “psoriasis” which is not a big disease as I have suffered from it. I had psoriasis since 6 years with me. It has been increased or mostly relieved from time to time. There were only small patches on scalp and around ankles…etc Recently in June 2016, psoriasis has attacked on my face violently for first time. It was much aggressive than before very itchy and unpleasent. And it happened after a big stress in my life. Fortunately I met Ayurveda Physician Dr. Chaya at Serenity Wellness Institute, JP Nagar, Bangalore. I went for a consultation and I understood that all the steroid based treatments that i was doing before are just suppresing my symptoms and more they will suppress more it will accumulate in the body and more strongly it will come back, and she explained me that this problem can be very effectivly treated in Ayurveda with detox therapy, which is called “panchakarma”. In panchakarma treatment there is no suppression but it is taking the toxins out of the body to which my immunity was reacting. Once the toxins are out, our immunity does not react and no symptoms are produced on the skin, So i begun immediately “panchakarma” (detox) treatment at “Serenity Wellness Institude” in Bangalore. There are five different procedures in Panchakarma but for me only Vamana (one of its kind in panchakarma treatment) was recommened. My doctor choose to do Vamana for me a Panchakarma procedure, I felt as different person right after the treatment. Which was for total of 9 days plus 7 days of diet restrictions as an after care, Almost all the patches and wounds dissapeared. It made my mind very calm as well through the body. After that I started taking care of myself with the diet, lifestyle and some medicines as prescribed by the doctor and I am feeling much better than before. I find my self fortunate to find this amazing treatment for my disease, If I would not have done this, I would have fallen in the trap of steroid creams and other harmful chemical medicines, which would have ruined my health. On contrary Ayurvedic treatment not only cured the disease, but also made my overall health and energy levels much better. From my experience and from other patients experience those who were taking treatment for psoriasis during the same time in this clinic, I would humbly recommend Panchakarma for all the patients those who are suffering from psoriasis, as I have understood that Suppression is not the treatment for this, Panchakarma detox is a much better approach. And we can save our health from all these harmfull steroidal, chemical treatments, which harm us more than the disease itself. ALL THE BEST SERENITY. Best regards, JAY KUMAR...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Chaya
Serenity Wellness Institute
Finally Effecive Treatment for Psoriasis
I was suffering from psoriasis since 8 years. I used to wear full sleeve shirts to cover the skin. I consulted many doctors. They didn't even listen to my complaints after seeing my psoriatic skin lesions. My sister told me that I should consult Dr. Nikita - whose clinic is near to my home. She goes there for her acne problem. I must say that I was a bit skeptical about consultation while reading "Gold medalist" on the board. But, When I entered her room, she welcomed me with a warm smile. She patiently listened to all of my complaints, asked me questions related to my skin disease. She did necessary tests to confirm the diagnosis. I had doubts about the disease and how the treatment will proceed. She cleared all of my doubts till I was satisfied. She prescribed the medicines and instructed me about how to take/use them. I took medicines exactly as she told for 6 months. She kept regular follow-up of my treatment. I must say that I am very happy with the treatment. My skin looks normal like other people. I can finally wear half sleeve shirts now! ...Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Nitika Wagh
Siddhivinayak Skin Clinic
Effecive Treatment for Psoriasis
** ** * ***** ******* I go amazing results with him for my psoriasis of 35+years in just 5months with him. In 35years I had tried everything from hallopathy doctors to ayurveda, homeopathy and even hakim He is quick to diagonise which may put off some patients and appears unemotional and clinical. If he can see and recognize what the problem is then why should he make the charade of holding torch to it etc. some other friends of mine have also had similar experience wherein with a few seconds not only he is able to diagonize the problem but also tells where all else on the body possibly it is also there He does not chat too much and this may put some patients off Amazing results for me and definitely recommended for any skin ailments....Read Less
Doctor in this story :Dr. Ajay Kedia
Ajay Kedia Skin And Cosmotology Center

Questions answered by trusted doctors

Verified User
Please give me a best medicine for Psoriasis ..last 1 years I am suffering please help me. Hol body of psoriasis
Amisha Mirchandani
Homoeopath, Thane
Hello I understand your concern
We have many good homeopathic medicines for psoriasis to treat it completely from the root itself without any sideffects that are part of conventional medicines Please contact me directly or ask me at
Online consultation and medicines at your doorstep are also delivered nationally and internationally
Warm regards
Dr Amisha Mirchandani
09819     055014
Dr. Shilpi Agarwal
Dermatologist, Thane
There are many medicines available for psoriasis today No one can suggest that online Please meet a dermatologist who will decide what’s best for you
Verified User
My friend is suffering from psoriasis for last 1 month. please help me give me some suggestion we need help....
Dr. Shaurya Rohatgi
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Psoriasis is a Chronic condition which has to be kept under control. Just like diabetes can be controlled but you cannot remove diabetes after you have it once. We can treat psoriasis effectively, but we cannot predict recurrences. Some lifestyle modifications and diet changes are also very helpful in reducing recurrences. please call me or send photos using online consult option for proper examination and treatment advice. I treat psoriasis cases everyday.
Ask health queries and get free answers from doctors in 24 hrs

Did you know?

12% people suffer from psoriasis everyday

In India approximately 12 % people suffer from psoriasis everyday.

Psoriasis more common among men

Psoriasis in India is twice more common in males than in females.

Psoriasis accounts for 2.3 of total dermatology patients

Psoriasis accounts for 2.3 per cent of the total dermatology outpatients at the hospitals in India.

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Home Remedies

Apply Aloe Vera Gel

You can apply the extract of an aloe vera plant which will reduce your itching, inflammation, redness, and scaling. You need to apply the gel several times in a day to get effective results.

Take Fish Oil Capsules

Taking fish oil capsules can reduce the symptoms of psoriasis a great deal. Though no conclusive studies have been performed to this end, the Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements are deemed to reduce inflammation and itching associated with psoriasis.

Apply Oregon Grape Extract

Apply Oregon grape extract on the affected part of the skin. This can reduce inflammation and ease psoriasis symptoms.

Oatmeal Baths

Oatmeal baths are also well known for soothing itchiness and inflammation. Grind a fistful of oatmeal in a blender and sprinkle the powder onto your bath water. You can also add some bath salts to the water. This will help to greatly reduce your symptoms.

Eat A Spoonful Turmeric Powder

Consume a spoonful of turmeric powder everyday. You can mix it to your food while cooking. Curcumin, an antioxidant found in turmeric, protects the skin and reduces wound-healing time.

Apply Olive Oil

Warm a little olive oil and apply it to your affected skin. This will help the affected skin to fall off. If your scalp is affected, apply warm olive oil on your scalp, which will loosen and remove the dry skin. You can also consume olive oil, this will help you to heal from within.