Psoriasis Glossary of Terms

Autoimmune disease A condition where your own immune system which normally fights infections and virusesmistakenly attacks normal, healthy tissue, creating inflammation.
Bacteria A class of microorganisms that cause infections.
Biologic therapies Biologic medicines, made from substances found in living organisms, block aspects of the immune system that are overactive in psoriasis.
Calcipotriene A synthetic form of vitamin D3 that can be applied to the skin to slow psoriasis cell growth, flatten lesions, and remove scales.
Chronic Long-lasting, ongoing.
Corticosteroid Inflammation-reducing steroids. These steroids (such as hydrocortisone) are some of the most frequently used psoriasis treatments.
Dermatitis Inflammation of the skin.
Dermatologist A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin problems, such as psoriasis.
Emollients A substance that softens and soothes skin, an emollient can help keep skin hydrated, minimize itch, and reduce tenderness.
Erythrodermic psoriasis A particularly inflammatory form of psoriasis, where intensely red areas cover large sections of the body.
Exfoliation Peeling and sloughing off of the skin’s cells.
Guttate psoriasis A type of psoriasis characterized by small inflamed red patches. The affected skin is thinner and less scaly than plaque psoriasis.
Immunosuppressant An agent that suppresses or prevents the body’s immune response.
Inverse Psoriasis Also called flexural psoriasis, it's characterized by smooth, red, inflamed skin in the folds of the armpits, groin, under the breasts, or crook of the arm.
Koebner’s Phenomenon The development of a psoriatic lesion at the site of a skin trauma.
Lesions A wound or injury to the skin.
Parakeratosis The process of psoriatic skin that continuously forms and scales off.
Phototherapy A psoriasis treatment that uses natural or artificial ultraviolet light to treat moderate to severe psoriasis.
Plaque psoriasis About 80% of people who have psoriasis develop this form: raised, inflamed, red skin (plaques), covered by scales that can be white or silver.
Psoriasis A reddish, scaly rash often located over the surfaces of the elbows, knees, scalp, and around or in the ears, navel, genitals, or buttocks.
Psoriasis vulgaris Another name for plaque psoriasis.
Psoriatic arthritis Joint inflammation associated with psoriasis, it affects roughly 10% of people with psoriasis.
Pustular psoriasis A type of psoriasis characterized by blisters filled with pus; usually found on the hands and feet.
Rheumatologist A doctor who specializes in treating inflammatory disorders of the joints, muscles, ligaments, and bones.
Salicylic acid A natural or synthesized substance that can reduce psoriasis inflammation and scaling.
Tar Derived from coal and wood, medicinal tar products can hinder the growth of psoriasis cells, reduce inflammation, itching, and scaling.
Tazarotene A vitamin A derivative, also known as a topical retinoid, tazarotene can be applied to the skin, as a gel or cream, to slow psoriasis cell growth.
Ultraviolet light Present in natural sunlight but invisible to the naked eye, ultraviolet light from natural or artificial sources is used as a potent psoriasis treatment.


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