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Psoriasis is more of an inconvenience in most cases than it is threatening. However, it is a chronic disease and reoccurs. The itching and peeling of skin can lead to significant pain and self-esteem issues. By far, the patient's quality of life is affected most with plaque psoriasis. Self-consciousness and embarrassment about appearance, inconvenience, and high costs of treatment options all affect one's outlook when living with psoriasis.
Complications of the disease are relatively uncommon. Many of the complications of plaque psoriasis are related to the treatments used for the disease. Overly aggressive use of topical steroids could lead to more severe forms of psoriasis (from plaque to pustular for example). Bandages should not be used with topical steroids because inflammation and swelling may occur. Oversensitivity to the sun is possible with many of the treatment options (especially phototherapy).
Some cases of plaque psoriasis are associated with psoriatic arthritis. Most of the medications which help psoriatic arthritis also help the skin.
Anxiety, depression, or stress may worsen symptoms and increase the tendency to itch.
Methotrexate, PUVA, cyclosporine, and oral retinoids all have helped to induce and maintain remission in severe cases of plaque psoriasis.
It has recently become apparent that most patients with psoriasis are predisposed to diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. It is important that such patients seek good overall medical care aside from simply treating their skin disease.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/23/2014
Jeffrey J. Meffert, MD
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