Psoriasis is a complex immune–mediated disease and is a common skin disorder that affects men and women equally.

Although it can begin at any age, the peak times for disease onset are young adulthood (ages 20 to 30 years) and late middle age (ages 50 to 69 years).

There are multiple clinical subtypes of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis, the most common presentation of psoriasis, most commonly presents with sharply defined erythematous plaques with overlying silvery scales. The scalp, extensor elbows, knees, and back are common locations for plaque psoriasis lesions.

Psoriatic arthritis occurs in about 30 percent of patients with psoriasis, and precedes the skin manifestations in approximately 15 percent of patients.

A diagnosis of psoriasis can be made by history and physical examination in the vast majority of cases. Occasionally, a skin biopsy is needed to rule out other conditions.

Numerous topical and systemic therapies are available for the treatment of psoriasis. Treatment modalities are chosen on the basis of disease severity, relevant comorbidities, patient preference (including cost and convenience), efficacy and evaluation of individual patient response.

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