Woman doing yoga looking at camera
Woman looking at camera doing yoga

About Psoriasis

What is it?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that’s often hard to live with. You might find your skin itchy or painful, sensitive and dry and flaky. It can be hard to figure out what causes your skin to flare and make your symptoms worse. When it comes to managing your psoriasis, there’s no one size fits all answer.

Where does it show up?

Psoriasis affects nearly one million Canadians. It can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, but most commonly shows up on the scalp, torso, buttocks, elbows and knees. It can also affect the genitals, lower back, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, toes and fingernails and even inside the mouth.

What causes Psoriasis?

It is thought that genetic factors may play a role in the likelihood of developing psoriasis. Doctors believe that psoriasis occurs as a result of a problem with the immune system which causes inflammation and the skin cells to grow faster than usual. With the skin cells growing quickly, they pile up on the skin’s surface creating the scaly red plaques that are characteristic of the condition.

Is there a cure?

Currently there is no cure for psoriasis, but medical research has led to the discovery and development of medications that have been authorized for sale in Canada. In addition to prescription drugs that are applied to the skin, taken orally or by injection, there are other ways to manage psoriasis. These include phototherapy (ultra-violet light) and over-the-counter medications, among others. It is advisable to speak with your doctor about what is best for your situation.

Treatments for psoriasis include, but are not limited to, topical medications that are applied on top of the skin, and systemic treatments that are available as oral medications or injections and infusions. For the most complete information on the products you are considering, please refer to the Patient Information Section in the Product Monograph of the medication.

With the answers to your quiz you can begin that conversation with your physician PSO you can LIVE BETTER WITH PSORIASIS. Information on treatment options can be found at https://www.canadianpsoriasisnetwork.com/psoriasis-treatment/.

We also encourage you to check back on this website for content updates.

How does your doctor assess psoriasis?

There are several means that are used to measure the degree or severity of psoriasis. PASI is a widely used tool for calculating the severity of psoriasis. It is a composite score that takes into consideration both the amount of the body surface that is affected by psoriasis, and the nature and severity of the psoriatic changes within the affected regions such as induration or a thickening of the tissue, erythema or redness, and scaling.

The IGA mod 2011 is a 5-category scale including “0 = clear” “1 = almost clear”, “2 = mild”, “3 = moderate” or “4 = severe” indicating the physician’s overall assessment of the psoriasis severity again focusing on induration, erythema and scaling. Treatment success of “clear” or “almost clear” consists of no signs of psoriasis or normal to pink coloration of lesions, no thickening of the plaque and none to minimal focal scaling.

BSA assessments measure the total area of your body (Body Surface Area) affected by psoriasis and is the most commonly used clinical tool.