<h1 class="about-heading">Psoriasis FAQ's</h1>

What is a PASI Score?

The PASI score stands for Psoriasis Area and Severity Index. This tool allows researchers to put an objective number on what would otherwise be a very subjective idea: how bad a person's psoriasis is. To arrive at the score, the three features of a psoriatic plaque – its redness, scaling and thickness - are each assigned a number from 0 to 4 with 4 being worst. Then the extent of involvement of each region of the body is scored from 0 to 6. Adding up the scores give a range of 0 to 72xi.

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Does psoriasis have an impact on mental well-being?

Yes, psoriasis can have a negative impact on the emotional as well as the physical well-being of sufferers. The pain and embarrassment associated with skin lesions can disrupt social and work-related activities and the physical and mental effects of psoriasis have been compared to those of other diseases such as cancer, arthritis, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and depressionvii. See the Quality of Life section of the website for further details.

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My current treatment is not effective – should I talk to my doctor?

A wide range of treatments are available for psoriasis. See the Treatment options section for further information. If your current treatment is not controlling your symptoms, or if it is not working as well as it used to, do consult your doctor to come up with a treatment plan that is right for you.

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Why does my psoriasis itch and how can I relieve the itch?

Itching that is associated with psoriasis arises when certain chemicals stimulate nerve fibres just below the outer layer of the skin. Itch messages are sent to the brain in the nervous system and trigger the urge to scratch.

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Are there any measures that can help to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an unpredictable condition and it is often difficult to pinpoint what triggers the condition or makes it worse. As a general rule, it is best not to smokeiii and to avoid drinking large amounts of alcoholiv as this can worsen symptoms in some people.

Some medicines can worsen psoriasis. If you think this might be the case, talk to your doctor before making any changes to your treatment

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How can I help a friend or family member who has psoriasis?

A useful first step is to find out more about psoriasis so that you understand what your friend or relative is going through. One of the most important things you can do is to let them know that you are ready to listen and support them when they need it. People with psoriasis often feel self-conscious and embarrassed about their appearance and they may become angry, depressed or withdrawn.

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What health complications and diseases are associated with psoriasis?

The skin is the largest organ in the body. It controls our body temperature and serves as a barrier to infection. Large areas of psoriasis can lead to infection, fluid loss and poor blood circulation.

Psoriasis patients may also develop psoriatic arthritis – where the joints and soft tissue around them become stiff and inflamed. Psoriatic arthritis can affect the fingers, toes, neck, lower back, knees and ankles. In severe cases, psoriatic arthritis can be disabling and cause irreversible damage to jointsxii.

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Can psoriasis develop at any age?

Yes. Psoriasis often appears between the ages of 15 and 25vii, but it can develop at any age. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of psoriasis patients get it before the age of 10, including rare cases of infants having the disease.

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How severe can psoriasis become?

Psoriasis can be mild, moderate or severe. Approximately 80% of those affected with psoriasis have mild to moderate disease, with 20% having moderate to severe psoriasis affecting more than 5% of the body surface area (BSA) or affecting crucial body areas such as the hands, feet, face, or genitals. The palm of the hand equals 1 percent of the skin xii. However, the severity of psoriasis is also measured by how psoriasis affects a person's quality of life.

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Can psoriasis affect all parts of the body?

Psoriasis most commonly appears on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso. But psoriasis can develop anywhere, including the nails, palms, soles, genitals and sometimes even on the face (rare). Often the lesions appear symmetrically, which means in the same place on the right and left sides of the body.

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