PSORIASIS

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  • Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the skin and joints.

  • It occurs less frequently but presents with more severe disease in African Americans as compared to Caucasians 

  • It can present with itchy reddish-purple, well-demarcated plaques with a grey-white scale.  Darker-skinned patients tend to present with more with thickened plaques, nodules, and dark patches. There is typically less redness in darker skin types.

  • Psoriasis is thought to be caused by the interplay between autoimmunity, hyperproliferation of the skin, and environmental triggers.

  • Management includes avoiding triggers, gentle skin care, frequent moisturization, topical anti-inflammatory agents (e.g. corticosteroids, calcineurin), topical vitamin D analogs, oral anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. cyclosporine, methotrexate), topical and or oral retinoids, phototherapy, and biologics 

References: 

- Kerr GS, et al., Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in African-American patients--the need to measure disease burden.  Clin Rheumatol. 2015 Oct;34(10):1753-9

- McMichael AJ, et al., Psoriasis in African-Americans: a caregivers' survey.  J Drugs Dermatol. 2012 Apr;11(4):478-82.