The principal symptom of psoriasis is an itchy, scaly rash that can appear in many places throughout the body. Although the rash usually appears on the skin, it can also involve areas around the nails and joints. Rashes typically last for a few days up to a few weeks before they subside.
Each episode or “flare up” of psoriasis can differ in intensity and duration. Rashes appear in different locations from one flare up to another. In the most severe cases, a patient may also experience inflamed tendons and joint stiffness in the region around the visible rash.
While symptoms usually appear “out of nowhere,” there are common issues that can lead to a flare up. Some of these include unrelated infections, stress, and cold temperatures. As a patient becomes more aware of his or her specific psoriasis triggers, it may be easier to prevent flare ups.
There is no cure for psoriasis. Treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms and removing excess skin build-up. Medicated topical ointments are capable of slowing down the rate at which skin cells reproduce. Some people find light therapy effective in reducing the severity of their symptoms.
Psoriasis patients of all backgrounds and age groups have something to offer psoriasis clinical trials. To identify the underlying causes of psoriasis, it may be necessary to run clinical studies with thousands more people. Each new psoriasis study is another step toward effective treatment and, ultimately, a cure for psoriasis.