ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ST BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Man undergoing ultraviolet radiation therapy for psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease in which itchy, scaly, red patches form on the skin, as seen on this patient's shoulders and lower back. It is one of the commonest skin diseases, affecting about 2% of the British population, but its cause is unknown. The disorder often runs in families and may be brought on by anxiety. It is much less common in sunny climates and is rare in infants and the elderly. There is no known cure and treatment is restricted to ultraviolet radiation therapy, palliative lotions and ointments.
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