Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can psoriasis affect my elbows and knees?"
I seem to have thickening skin above both parts. Could this be psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common and chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin. The lesions caused by psoriasis can manifest in a variety of ways, with the most common form being plaque psoriasis. In this subset of the disease, the skin becomes thickened in certain areas of the body, leading to the development of reddened plaques. After time, a distinctive silvery or white hue may be seen on the plaques. Classically, psoriasis affects the extensor surfaces of joints, such as the outsides of the elbows or the front of the knees, in contrast to eczema which classically affects the flexor surfaces of the joints (ie, the elbow creases and the backs of the knees). Psoriasis is also often found on the scalp, back and buttocks, but can truly occur anywhere on the body. If you are concerned about any new skin findings on your elbows or knees, then you should seek care from either your primary care physician or a dermatologist to help make a diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is made, treatment can be initiated. In the event that you do have psoriasis, treatment in the initial stages often involves topical emollients and steroid ointments.
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