Psoriasis is a long-term (chronic) skin problem that causes skin cells to grow too quickly, resulting in thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin. Elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms and feet are the most commonly affected areas of the body. Psoriasis is not contagious, so it cannot be passed from one person to another, and it usually occurs in adults. It sometimes runs in families. Treatments include creams, medications and light therapy.

A problem with your immune system causes psoriasis. In a process called cell turnover, skin cells that grow deep in your skin rise to the surface.
Precipitating factors that make it worse include:

  • Infections
  • Stress
  • Dry skin
  • Certain medicines

Types of Psoriasis
There are five major types of psoriasis, each with unique signs and symptoms:

  • Plaque psoriasis – common type.

Appears as patches of raised, reddish skin covered by silvery – white scale.
Patches form frequently on elbows, knees, lower back and scalp.

  • Guttate psoriasis – small red spots

Usually affect children and young adults.
Often starts after sore throat
Clears up by itself in a week or few months.

  • Pustular psoriasis  – white pustules surrounded by red skin,

tends to confine itself to certain areas of the body, usually the
palms and soles and is referred to as “localized pustular psoriasis.”
When widespread, the condition is  “generalized pustular psoriasis,”- rare and
life threatening.

  • Inverse psoriasis This type occurs when smooth, red lesions form in the skin folds. Lesions can appear in the armpit, under the breasts, and around the groin, buttocks, and genitals.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis
 – Causes widespread redness with severe itching and pain.  Can be life threatening.

Develops frequently on the scalp and nails. It is possible to be misdiagnose as dandruff and nail infection and is difficult to treat.

Psoriatic arthritis

  • Inflammation of the joints. A lifelong condition that causes deterioration, pain and stiffness in the joints.
  • Between 10% and 30% of patients who develop psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis
  • Medication can help prevent joint deformities and disability if used early.

Without treatment, permanent joint degeneration and destruction can occur.

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