It is estimated that about 2.2 percent of American adults have been diagnosed with psoriasis, confirming that psoriasis is a common disease (1). 11 percent of those diagnosed with psoriasis have also been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. This is a prevalence of 0.25 percent of American adults in the general population. Psoriasis prevalence in African Americans was 1.3 percent compared to 2.5 percent of Caucasians. The prevalence of psoriasis in Western populations is estimated to be around 2-3%. It affects both sexes equally and occurs at all ages.
About 80% of people living with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, which also is called “Psoriasis Vulgaris.” “Vulgaris” means “common” (2, 3).
How to recognize Plaque Psoriasis:1
- Raised and thickened patches of reddish skin called “plaques,” which are covered by silvery-white scales.
2. Plaques most often appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, chest, and lower back. However, they can appear anywhere on the body, including the genitals.
- Plaques vary in size and can appear as distinct patches or join together to cover a large area.
In the early stages, psoriasis may be unnoticeable. The skin may itch and/or a burning sensation may be present. Plaque psoriasis usually first appears as small red bumps. Bumps gradually enlarge, and scales form. While the top scales flake off easily and often, scales below the surface stick together. The small red bumps develop into plaques (reddish areas of raised and thickened skin).
And What Causes Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a complex and multifaceted auto-immune disease. In other words, multiple factors can potentially cause the development of this skin condition. For example, we have seen chlorine, mercury fillings, and parasite infestation being a trigger of psoriasis.
In addition, several factors are thought to aggravate psoriasis. These include stress and excessive alcohol consumption. Individuals with psoriasis may also suffer from depression and loss of self-esteem. As such, quality of life is an important factor in evaluating the severity of the disease.