Psoriasis is a common skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. This causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin forming itchy and sometimes painful scales and red patches. Psoriasis is a chronic disease that often comes and goes, but is not contagious. Common locations for psoriasis to develop are the scalp, face, hands, feet, nails, genitals, and any skin folds such as armpits and under the breasts. There are five main types of psoriasis:
Some people who have psoriasis develop a form of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. Most cases of psoriatic arthritis are diagnosed after the diagnosis of psoriasis, but the joint problems can sometimes begin before skin lesions appear. Common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are swollen fingers and toes, foot pain, and lower back pain.
The main goal of treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly. Treatment for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can be provided in the form of systemics, also known as biologics. Biologics are different from traditional systemic drugs because they target specific parts of the immune system. The biologics used to treat psoriatic disease block the action of immune cells and proteins that cause psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.