Dry skin or Psoriasis - How it is defined

Dry skin in the form of Psoriasis often appears as red elevated plaques with silvery scales at various anatomic sites. Just because you have very dry skin, it is not certain that you are suffering from Psoriasis - contact your dermatologist or physician if in doubt.


The primare location of dry skin typed psoriasis is on the elbows, knees and scalp, but psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body. Severity can vary greatly.


Psoriasis affects about 2 – 3% of the population, and psoriasis is equally common in men and women. It can start at any age, but most patients develop psoriasis in their twenties. There is a peak of incidence during late teens or early twenties and a second peak during the fifties.


Duration of psoriasis may vary, but in most patients, the course of remissions and exacerbations goes on for many years or even a lifetime.


If treated the right way many people with psoriasis can be living well with the condition.



How psoriasis is defined

The history of psoriasis


Healthy eating for

people with psoriasis

dry skin


Learn more about psoriasis in the face

What is causing dry skin diagnosed as psoriasis?

Genetic factors

Immunological factors

Environmental factors


Psoriasis is a condition with multiple causes, which may be genetic, immunological, environmental and psychological. These factors alter the functioning of skin cells, in particular keratinocytes and fibroblasts (1).


Genetic factors


There is a large amount of evidence suggesting that there is a genetic predisposition to psoriasis (2). However, there is no one specific psoriasis gene, but instead, there are a number of genetic characteristics which make a patient more likely to develop the condition (1).


Several studies have shown that there is a family history of psoriasis in 30% to 50% of psoriasis cases.


Research on monozygotic twins (identical twins) has however shown that in 70% of cases, both twins were subject to psoriasis (1). If heredity was the sole cause, there would be a 100% match. These findings therefore show that psoriasis depends on other factors.


Our knowledge of the genes associated with psoriasis is currently incomplete. However, studies of families of people with psoriasis have demonstrated that there are chromosome regions associated with the condition (1). These clusters of genes leading to skin inflammation vary from one family to another and from one patient to another.


Researchers think that in a few years they will be able to identify different treatments appropriate to the genetic characteristics of psoriasis patients (1).


Unaffected groups


Some groups, such as native Americans from the Andes and Eskimos, do not get psoriasis. This could possibly be explained by genetic differences coupled with environmental factors.


Read more about genetic factors. 


Environmental factors




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