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Psoriasis Increasingly Linked to Arthritis, Cardiovascular Disease

Posted: January 5, 2010

Skin care professionals often encounter psoriasis in their work, so knowing its background, potential treatments and risks is important in the treatment of clients with this skin condition.

Psoriasis, a chronic disease that causes red, raised patches of skin, is increasingly seen as a systemic disease with links to arthritis and cardiovascular disease. The December issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource provides an overview of this sometimes embarrassing condition, what's known about it and how it's treated.

Symptoms

Patches of thick, red skin covered with silvery, flaky scales commonly appear on the elbows and knees, but can appear anywhere on the body. They result from skin cells on overdrive, reproducing much faster than normal. Doctors aren't sure why this overproduction occurs, although genetic and environmental factors likely play roles.

Psoriasis symptoms come and go and flare in response to triggers that can include infections, some medications, alcohol, smoking, stress, sunburn, skin irritation or injury.