Psoriasis is a common lifelong inflammatory condition of the skin affecting approximately two per cent of the population.1 It is typically characterised by the development of red scaly plaques with well-defined edges, but it can have a wide variety of presentations depending on the body area affected or the type of skin lesions.2
In addition, 15 to 30% of patients may develop psoriatic arthritis, and all are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome.1, 3 It is therefore unsurprising to find that this condition carries significant psychosocial morbidity, comparable to that observed in other chronic diseases, including depression, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.4
Psoriasis has a multifactoral aetiology, with a combination of genetic, environmental, and immunological factors playing a role.5
Genetic: It is estimated that 30% of patients have an affected first-degree relative.5 If both parents are affected, the risk of their child developing psoriasis is 50 to 75%.5,6 Numerous genes have also been implicated in the development of psoriasis, the most likely of which-PSORS1, located on chromosome 6-is found in 50% of patients.7
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