Dermatology

July 2011

FocusDermatology

Psoriasis

Volume 40, No.7, July 2011 Pages 468-473

Philip Clarke

Background

Psoriasis is one of the more common rashes presenting to general practice.

Objective/s

This article outlines the assessment and management of psoriasis in the general practice setting.

Discussion

Careful clinical assessment will usually lead to a diagnosis of psoriasis. Management starts with education, lifestyle measures and general skin care measures. Although topical steroids are the mainstay of treatment, other topical options are outlined and treatment options in difficult locations are considered. The potential indications for referral and systemic therapies are also considered.

Rashes are a common presentation in patients presenting to general practice. The majority of rashes will be fungal infections, eczema, dermatitis, acne and psoriasis. An Australian study1 in 1999 showed a prevalence of 6.6% for psoriasis, but 80% of these patients were unaware of the psoriasis and thought it not clinically relevant. This means that about 1.5% of patients will have clinically important psoriasis. Psoriasis is an inflammatory immune based disorder with a genetic predisposition.

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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