Psoriasis and rheumatic disease 4.5/5 (2)

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(a), (cd): Psoriasis patches on the elbow and legs, (c) Koebner phenomenon with linear psoriasis patch on the abdomen, (cd): alopecia areata of the lower limbs

Psoriasis on knees and legs. Santos G, 2014. CC BY NC 3.0


Chronic autoimmune" skin disease where the skin cells renew faster than normal. The cells in the upper skin layer are usually changed within 30 days. For psoriasis, the process only takes 4-7 days. The excess of skin cells builds up as "plaques" that flake off.


About 2% of the population has psoriasis, which is equivalent to 120.000 people in Norway.

Disease Cause

The triggering cause is unknown, but genetic (hereditary) factors play a certain role.


Different types of psoriasis have different symptoms

Psoriasis vulgaris (plaque psoriasis) is most common. It typically appears with dry, scaly, thick skin on the extensor sides of elbow and knees and on the scalp, but may also occur in other areas. The abnormalities are clearly defined and are unusual in the face (except for the hairline).

Pustular psoriasis occurs in palms and soles of the feet as palmo-plantar pustulose or as Generalized pustulosis on the body. Typically, small blisters are. They may resemble infection (puss-like), but are clean (no bacteria). About 20% have pustular psoriasis at the same time other forms of psoriasis

Psoriasis inversa is psoriasis in the skin folds and on the genital organs (genitally)

Guttate psoriasis turns out to be small red-violet rash on the body

Nail psoriasis (both finger and toenails) occur in about 50% with other forms of psoriasis. The nails get an uneven surface and become thicker. The symptoms are similar to fungal infection (mycosis) in the nails.


Psoriatic Arthritis

Ankylosing spondylitis-like spondyloarthritis


The general practitioner handles most cases. Serious forms require dermatologist's assessment.

Various types of local treatment like ointments are prescribed by the GP. For good effect, proper use is essential. If necessary, a specialist in skin diseases (dermatologist) can prescribe light treatment (UVB / PUVA) and various disease-reducing drugs such as methotrexate and Biological drugs if necessary. Treatment in warm climate may also be applicable.

Other useful advice

  • Brush and comb your hair gently and regularly (hard handling increases skin changes)
  • Give all treatments time to work (weeks)
  • Please read the recommendation instructions carefully and follow them
  • Stay up to date on new treatments


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