NIHSeniorHealth.gov, the website for older adults, makes aging-related health information easily accessible for family members and friends seeking reliable, easy-to-understand online health information. Health topics include general background information, open-captioned videos, quizzes, and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Below are FAQs regarding psoriasis.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis (sow RYE uh sis) is a chronic skin disease. Chronic means it lasts a long time, often a lifetime. Psoriasis affects more than 5 million adults in the United States. It appears about equally in males and females. Psoriasis occurs when the skin cells grow too quickly. The body does not shed these excess cells and they build up on the surface of the skin, forming thick, scaly patches.
What is the most common form of psoriasis?
The most common form of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis. It appears as raised red patches covered in silvery white scales. Plaque psoriasis usually shows up on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. The patches may itch or be painful. They can also crack and bleed.
What types of treatments are used for psoriasis?
There are many types of treatments. Many are medicines and other treatments your health care provider can prescribe. But there are other types of treatments available without a prescription.
Some treatments for psoriasis are applied to the skin directly. Some use light to treat skin lesions. Others are taken by mouth or injected.
Are there any natural treatments I can try for psoriasis?
For many people, natural treatments can help relieve the symptoms of psoriasis. There are many natural treatments you can try on your own, but you should never use them to replace the treatment your health care provider prescribes. Some natural treatments are sunlight, aloe, fish oil, Dead Sea salts, and cayenne.
What other health problems are associated with psoriasis?
As many as 30% of people with psoriasis will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis. This disease causes pain and swelling in the joints.
Other diseases and health problems that are more likely in people with psoriasis include heart disease and heart attacks, diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), stroke, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory disease of the bowel), cancer, metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions – increased blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, and body fat around the waist – that increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes), obesity, and liver disease.
More about the NIH:
The NIHSeniorHealth.gov site was developed by the National Institute on Aging and the National Library of Medicine, both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIHSeniorHealth features authoritative and up-to-date health information from the NIH. In addition, the American Geriatrics Society provides expert and independent review of some of the material found on this website. New topics are added to the site on a regular basis.
Added July 13, 2017: A notice posted on the NIHseniorHealth.gov Website:
NIHseniorHealth.gov will be retired on August 1, 2017. To continue finding reliable, up-to-date health and wellness information for older adults from the National Institutes of Health, we’re referring you to https://medlineplus.gov/ or https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/.