A biologic drug that is given by injection and is FDA approved for
treating adults who have moderate to severe chronic plaque
A topical agent prescribed for the treatment of psoriasis.
A Y-shaped protein that is secreted into the blood or lymph to fight
against bacteria, viruses and other foreign particles.
investigational studies of new treatments, new uses of existing
treatment, or new screening methods to detect disease.
Coal tar bath:
Topical coal tar preparations are used to treat the scaling,
inflammation and itching of psoriasis and other skin disorders. The
coal tar solution is added to bath water for greater coverage and
Costimulatory signal: In interactions between cells
of the immune system, a costimulatory "second messenger" molecule is
sometimes needed to complete the cell-to-cell transmission of a
signal that initiates an immune response to infection or injury.
A prescription drug that decreases the body's abnormal immune
Cytokines are a large group of molecules that regulate interactions
in the immune system. Cytokines are messengers that carry
biochemical signals to regulate local and systemic immune responses,
inflammatory reactions, wound healing, formation of blood cells, and
many other biologic processes. More than 100 cytokines have been
Inflammation of the skin.
Erythrodermic psoriasis: Psoriasis characterized by severe
redness and shedding of the body surface.
Peeling and sloughing off of the skin's tissue cells.
material that forms the biologic code for who we are. This code is
passed on to our children.
Psoriasis characterized by red, drop-like dots on the skin.
Human leucocyte antigen
(HLA): Immune system
markers strongly associated with the causes(s) of psoriasis.
The biochemical complex that protects the body against organisms
(infections) and other foreign bodies that lead to illness.
The invasion of the body by microorganisms that reproduce and
multiply, causing disease.
consent: the process by
which a volunteer for a clinical trial agrees to participate after
being fully informed regarding purposes of the trial, risks and
benefits associated with participation in the trial, and whether
volunteers will be randomized to receive treatment or placebo.
Psoriasis characterized by smooth, inflamed lesions in body folds.
phenomenon: Psoriatic lesions appear at the site of injury,
infection or other skin problem. The lesion may mark the initial
onset of psoriasis, or may be a new lesion in an existing case of
wound or injury to the skin.
planus: (pronounced LY-kin-PLAN-us), a common inflammatory
condition. Lesions develop on the skin, genitals, and inside the
mouth. When lesions form on the skin, they usually appear as
reddish-purple, flat-topped bumps that can be very itchy. Inside the
mouth, patches of fine white lines and dots form.
A collection of information obtained from the patient and from other
sources concerning the patient's past and current health.
An agent prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe
Noncontagious: Incapable of being transmitted from person to
Oral: By the
Palmar-plantar psoriasis: Psoriasis characterized by
pus-like blisters on the skin (usually hands or feet). Also known
as pustular psoriasis.
Ointments in which powder is suspended. Pastes are drying and
less greasy than ointments.
Treatment with artificial ultraviolet light.
a pharmacologically inactive substance with no medicinal value, used
as method for "control" in clinical trials.
flattish, raised patch on the skin.
psoriasis: Psoriasis characterized by red, silvery-white,
scaly skin lesions (most common variety of psoriasis).
Susceptible, likely to get.
Psoriatic arthritis: A genetically driven autoimmune disease
that occurs in less than 10% of persons with psoriasis. Large and
small joints are affected. Psoriatic arthritis is often associated
with psoriasis in fingernails and toenails.
Pustular psoriasis: Psoriasis characterized by pus-like
blisters on the skin (usually hands or feet). Also known as palmo-plantar
The acronym for Psoralen + ultraviolet light A. PUVA is a type of
phototherapy used in treatment of psoriasis. Treatment requires the
patient to ingest, topically apply, or bathe in a medication called
psoralen before being exposed to UVA rays.
Vitamin A derivatives used in the prevention and treatment of
various skin problems.
Thin flakes on the skin surface.
A combination of a powder and liquid that must be shaken before
A portion of skin is removed for microscopic examination.
An abbreviated word for corticosteroids, which are powerful drugs
used to control inflammation and itching of the skin.
Pertaining to the body as a whole.
On the skin.
A nongenetic, environmental factor that acts together with genetic
predisposition to cause onset or worsening of psoriasis. Injuries
and infections are common triggers. See Koebner’s phenomenon.
light: The part of sunlight that has a short wavelength and
encompasses the wavelengths that treat psoriasis. This type of light
can also cause sunburn.
All content solely
developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
For an overview, visit
the AAD pamphlet
Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis.