ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Psoriasis: extensive patches of silver scales over a man's torso and arms. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease in which itchy, scaly, patches form on the skin. It can also affect the growth of the finger & toe nails and in a small percentage of cases it is accompanied by arthritis in the small joints of the fingers, toes and spine. Psoriasis is one of the most common skin diseases, but its cause is unknown. The disorder often runs in families and may be brought on by anxiety or sustained stress. There is no known cure and treatment is restricted to palliative lotions and ointments which often contain tar-based products.
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