Please note: This information was current at the time of publication but now may be out of date. This handout provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. 

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Am Fam Physician. 2023;108(6):online

Related article: Psoriasis: Recognition and Management Strategies

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a disease that affects the skin. It causes red, scaly patches of dry skin. They can be anywhere on the body. They can also be on your nails. Some people get joint pain.

Who gets psoriasis and why?

Usually adults, but sometimes children can get it.

You are more likely to get psoriasis if someone in your family has it. It is also more likely if you are overweight, smoke, or drink alcohol. Some medicines increase the risk of getting it.

How is it treated?

You can use creams or ointments on the skin. If you have it on large amounts of skin, you may need to take medicine by mouth. Sometimes, ultraviolet light will help.

What can I do to make things better?

Several things can help:

  • Quit smoking

  • Drink less alcohol

  • Get at least two hours of exercise every week that gets your heart pumping

  • Keep your skin moist

  • Use your medicine for psoriasis and do not skip doses

  • Eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seafood, and healthy fats like olive oil (Mediterranean diet)

Where can I get more information?

Continue Reading

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