Patient Care

Psoriasis

2023/10/09
What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease most commonly characterised by well-demarcated, erythematous plaques with silver scale. Psoriasis is usually diagnosed clinically, based on typical appearance on typical sites.

Psoriasis occurs in a variety of clinical forms. The major clinical categories include:

  • Chronic Plaque Psoriasis
  • Guttate Psoriasis
  • Pustular Psoriasis
  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis
  • Inverse Psoriasis
  • Nail Psoriasis
What are the signs & symptoms of Psoriasis?

Common signs and symptoms include multifocal or generalised areas of skin redness, flaking and itch. Typical sites of Psoriasis are the extensor surfaces of the body (knees, elbows). Psoriasis affecting the flexural sites (axillae, elbows, behind the knees, groin folds) is called inverse psoriasis. An uncommon form of Psoriasis may also develop pustules. Nail Psoriasis often involves thickening, brittleness, staining, pitting and detachment of the nail plates.

When Psoriasis affects your joints, you may experience joint pains and stiffness. This is usually worse at rest and improves with movement.

See your doctor if:

  • You're so uncomfortable with the condition that it affects your quality of life
  • There is widespread involvement
  • You've tried self-care steps without success
  • You experience persistent joint pains and/or stiffness
What are the treatment options for Psoriasis?

Treatment for Psoriasis varies depending on the type, location and severity. Potential precipitating factors should also be elicited and addressed accordingly. These include:

  • Drugs e.g. beta-blockers, anti-malarials, withdrawal of oral or potent topical corticosteroids
  • Stress
  • Environmental factors e.g. heat
  • Trauma (K√∂bner phenomenon) - physical, chemical, electrical, surgical, infective and inflammatory
  • Infection e.g. streptococcal throat infection
  • HIV infection
  • Metabolic e.g. hypocalcaemia (in Pustular Psoriasis)

Your doctor will assess your condition carefully before recommending the appropriate treatment. Regular use of moisturisers is important in reducing itching and scaling.

Mild Psoriasis is usually treated with topical creams, ointments or scalp solutions. These include coal tar, dithranol, salicylic acid, corticosteroids, or vitamin D-type drugs (calcipotriol or calcitriol).

More severe Psoriasis may require phototherapy with ultraviolet A (UVA) or B (UVB) light, which require coming two to three times a week for treatment. Severe Psoriasis not responding to the above may need tablets such as methotrexate, acitretin and cyclosporin. Unfortunately, oral medications can cause side effects such as bone marrow damage, liver damage and kidney damage, and requires regular blood tests to detect these side effects. New injectable biologic agents which are safe and effective are also available for patients who do not respond to conventional therapy.

Find A Doctor

Click here to access our Find A Doctor directory for a list of doctors treating this condition across our NUHS institutions.

You can search by -
  • Condition name 'Psoriasis' AND
  • Institution
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National University Health System
  • National University Hospital
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
  • Alexandra Hospital
  • Jurong Community Hospital
  • National University Polyclinics
  • Jurong Medical Centre
  • National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
  • National University Heart Centre, Singapore
  • National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore
  • NUHS Diagnostics
  • NUHS Pharmacy
  • Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
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