Psoriasis is a lifelong chronic inflammatory disease affecting 2-3% of the worldwide population. Current understanding of the pathogenesis of psoriasis assigns central importance to an interaction between acquired and innate immunity. The disease is characterized by a series of linked cellular changes in the skin, including hyperplasia of epidermal keratinocytes, angiogenesis, and infiltration of T lymphocytes, neutrophils, and other types of leukocytes in the affected skin. Plaque psoriasis is the most common clinical form and is characterized by red and scaly plaques generally localized at extensor sites such as elbows and knees. Major determinants of psoriasis severity include the extent of skin involvement; localization in highly affected areas such as scalp, palms, and soles; pruritus; presence of comorbidities including psoriatic arthritis; and impairment on quality of life. About one-third of patients have moderate to severe psoriasis defined as PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index) and/or Dermatology Life Quality Index>10, and/or affected body surface area>10%. The optimal treatment goal is to safely achieve complete or almost complete skin clearance. Treatments available are various and they are chosen according to disease features, comorbidities, and patient characteristics and priorities. Topical treatments including corticosteroids and Vitamin D analogs are reserved for mild disease. Phototherapy, cyclosporine, methotrexate, acitretin, or biologics such as tumor necrosis factor-α antagonists and ustekinumab are reserved for the moderate to severe forms.
Keywords: BIOLOGICAL THERAPIES; COMORBIDITIES; CONVENTIONAL TREATMENTS; PSORIASIS; TREATMENT TARGET.