When you see the word psoriasis, you may picture angry red patches with silvery scales—the classic sign of plaque psoriasis, which is the most common form of the chronic skin condition, and what you see most in textbook illustrations and photos. But on dark skin tones, the inflamed areas can take on a very different appearance, making it harder for people (dermatologists included) to realize they may be experiencing psoriasis.
The inflammatory skin condition is caused by faster-than-normal cell growth that results in a pile-up of skin cells on the surface that itch, burn, and sting. Those rough, irritated patches can also leave lingering signs on Black skin long after the psoriasis plaque or lesion has healed. We talked to Black dermatologists to clarify the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for psoriasis on dark skin tones.