What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common and often distressing skin condition. Symptoms may start when a combination of environmental and genetic factors disrupt the normal lifecycle of skin cells.1

Beneath the Surface

Skin cells grow within deep layers of the skin and then move to the surface about once a month.2 But in psoriasis, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, causing the process to accelerate and dead skin cells to build up on the skin's surface.3

More Common Than You Think

Psoriasis affects approximately 2-3% of the world's population4, that's around 125 million people.

Some people may experience5:

  • Itching, burning or soreness
  • Pain from skin that can crack or bleed
  • Red patches of inflamed skin covered with silvery scales patches (or plaques)
  • Up to 30% of people also find their joints are affected – a painful condition known as psoriatic arthritis6

Not ‘Just Cosmetic’

Psoriasis can negatively affect people both physically and mentally. The impact can be particularly pronounced when psoriasis is highly visible, such as on the face or nails.7,8


  1. Nestle FO et al. Psoriasis. N Engl J Med 2009; 361(5):496-509.
  2. Schön MP, Boehncke WH. N Engl J Med 2005; 352(18):1899-1912.
  3. Schön MP, Boehncke WH. N Engl J Med 2005; 352(18):1899-1912.
  4. World Health Organization. (2013, April 5). Psoriasis: Report by the Secretariat. http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/EB133/B133_5-en.pdf
  5. Website “Mayo Clinic” – Psoriasis, Symptoms. Last accessed: 08.10.16. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/basics/symptoms/con-20030838
  6. Website “National Psoriasis Foundation” – About Psoriatic Arthritis. Last accessed: 08.10.16. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriatic-arthritis
  7. Wozel G. Clin Dermatol 2008; 26(5):448-59.
  8. Guenther L et al. J Cutan Med Surg. 2009; Suppl 2:S77-87.
  9. Krueger G. Arch Dermatol 2001; 137:280-84.