Psoriasis Symptoms & Treatments

Dr. Jason Rivers, MD, FRCPC, discusses psoriasis symptoms and treatments.

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Dr. Jason Rivers, MD, FRCPC, discusses psoriasis symptoms and treatments.
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Jason Rivers, MD, FRCPC

Duration: 1 minute, 35 seconds

Psoriasis is a very common condition, affecting about two percent of the population.

It can start in infancy, but has a peak of onset in the late 20s or 30s. In part it's a genetic skin condition, but may occur sporadically without any family history.

Psoriasis is characterized by red, well-defined scaly plaques which occur preferentially on the elbows and knees, but can also affect the scalp and in some individuals be widespread. It tends not to be itchy, but can in certain areas and in certain individuals.

It is a chronic disease, and in recent years we've realized this is really an alteration of the immune system giving skin changes, and that this disease is also associated with other disorders such as heart disease and what's called the metabolic syndrome.

We also understand that because it's an immunological disease, that we try and treat it so that we can quell that immune response and that can be done through a number of modilities, including ultraviolet light, topical anti-inflammatory agents, or most recently, a new class of drugs called biologics, which again have an effect on the immune system.

However, if you are concerned about psoriasis and need treatment, then it would be reasonable to be assessed by a dermatologist.

Presenter: Dr. Jason Rivers, Dermatologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Dermatologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.