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Identifying and treating patients with psoriasis

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A diagnosis of psoriasis can be distressing for a A diagnosis of psoriasis can be distressing for a patient

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition involving the skin, other organs and joints. It occurs in up to 2.2% of the population in the UK, equally in men and women, and is more common in white people.1 Psoriasis patients undergo exacerbations and remissions, which may be triggered by a number of factors. Patients with psoriasis are also more liable to develop cardiovascular diseases, obesity, liver disease and diabetes.2

The practice nurse will frequently encounter cases of psoriasis. Some patients may be distressed by their condition, while others have learned to live with it. Those with a new rash may seek a diagnosis or established cases may worry about their appearance or failure to respond to recommended treatment. The practice nurse should be able to make and/or confirm the diagnosis, recommend approaches to management, recognise complications and be aware of those cases that need referral for further advice and treatment.

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