This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
This disease may affect persons of all ages but is most common in adults. The eruption consists in separate spots or patches of a dull red color covered with an abundance of white, branny scales which fall off readily. The separate patches are generally circular. The eruption occurs most often on the outer surfaces of the joints, as of the elbow, the front of the leg, or knee, being by this particular, distinguished from eczema, which most often affects the inner surfaces, as the bends of the elbows and knees. It often attacks the scalp, when it is the cause of dandruff. Psoriasis also differs from eczema in that it seldom presents a moist surface and rarely itches. The disease is sometimes very chronic, lasting many months or even years. The
I causes of the affection are somewhat obscure. It is probably generally due to disorders of nutrition. It is hot in the slightest degree contagious. Sometimes eczema and psoriasis are combined.
This disease is sometimes very difficult to cure, and it has a stubborn tendency to return. Very frequently, just as one. set of spots have disappeared, another crop will make their appearance. Especial attention should be given to the general health. The diet should be simple, but unstimulating; it should be mostly fruits and grains. The patient should take frequent baths. We have seen some cases very greatly benefited by the vapor bath. Packs are also useful, but the skin should not be excited too greatly, especially when the eruption has a very reddish appearance. Carbolic-acid ointment and tar soap are of some value as local applications. Bathing the affected parts with saleratus or soda water is also useful.