Medical Dermatology > Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition that can affect parts or all of your skin. It is characterized by well defined, red, thick, and scaly plaques. In persons with darker skin tones, it can appear as purple, dark brown, or dark gray. The top scale of psoriasis usually has a thick silvery or white appearance. Most common sites are scalp, elbows and knees.

Symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Itching
  • Areas of skin that are red, dry, or dark, and are usually covered in silvery or white scale
  • Rashes may develop on the scalp, genitals, or in skin folds (for example, the armpits, groin, or under the breasts)
  • Nail changes may be present on the fingernails or toenails, that look pitted, crumbly, or different in color


Treatments are aimed to reduce symptoms of psoriasis, but the condition cannot be cured. They may include lifestyle modifications, topical prescriptions, light therapy, and systemic (biologic) therapy depending on the location and severity of disease. Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that can affect some people with psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis causes pain and swelling in the joints, so it is important to tell your provider if you have psoriasis and notice pain in your joints. You may be referred to a rheumatologist for management. Consult your Aspire dermatologist for further help in managing your psoriasis.