Plaque psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease with an unknown cause and no cure. Much research is based on the theory that psoriasis is a T cell mediated disorder. This review suggests that the pathogenesis of psoriasis fits the general picture of a type IV hypersensitivity reaction. Orthodox and herbal approaches to treatment are both shown to be more beneficial if they are tailored to the individual and address psychosocial issues.
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory, non-contagious, skin disease affecting over 2% of the population world-wide. Many different forms of psoriasis exist including: guttate, flexural, scalp, erythrodermic, pustular, palmar/pedal, and psoriatic arthropathy. This review focuses on the most common form - chronic plaque psoriasis.
The exact cause of psoriasis is as yet unknown. Several factors have been identified which may contribute as triggers. The aim is of this review is to focus on chronic plaque psoriasis and the immunological and inflammatory mechanisms behind it. Although most sources recognise a familial link in psoriasis, the complex genetics will not be discussed except where necessary. The historical background, epidemiology, aetiology, pathogenesis, pathology, clinical features, diagnosis, and treatment of psoriasis will be reviewed.