Psoriasis often begins on scalp or elbows with circular areas of uniform darker/ redder skin clearly differing in colour from adjacent normal coloured skin.

These areas are covered with dry white, adherent silvery scales, which can sometimes be quite dense. These scales are not easily removed but when they are, then coarse lined skin with bleeding points can be seen underneath them.

Other areas that can be affected are the knees, elbows and shins. The fingernails and toenails can be affected with thimble pitting. Stiff and painful joints can accompany psoriasis.

The cause of psoriasis is unknown, but there would seem to be a familial trait. Two per cent of Caucasians suffer from the condition, which more commonly appears between the ages of ten and thirty.

The condition is triggered by stress, skin damage, illness and bacterial infection. Itching to an adjacent area often denotes an extension of the condition.


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