Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes raised, red scaly patches to appear on the skin. The patches occur because the skin cells multiply much faster than normal. Psoriasis typically occurs on the knees, elbows and scalp but can also be found on the torso, palms and soles of the feet.

Overview and Symptoms

The symptoms of psoriasis vary depending on the type you have. Some common symptoms for plaque psoriasis - the most common variety of the condition - include: 

  • Patches of red skin, often covered with loose, silver-colored scales
  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
  • Itching, burning or soreness
  • Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
  • Swollen and stiff joints


There are three main ways to treat psoriasis – topical (on the skin), light therapy and medication. Used alone, creams and ointments that you apply to your skin can effectively treat mild to moderate psoriasis. When the disease is more severe, creams are likely to be combined with oral medications or light therapy.


The Department of Dermatology offers diagnosis, treatment and management of various skin conditions including skin cancer and cosmetic and laser surgery. 

Learn More