What Is Psoriasis? Symptoms, Causes and Treatments


Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can cause red, scaly patches of skin to appear. Learn more about what it is, why it appears and how it’s treated.

Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful.**

Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis symptoms include red, scaly patches of skin covered with silvery scales. Psoriasis symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis. Psoriasis treatment depends on the severity and type of psoriasis and may include topical treatments, phototherapy, systemic medications or a combination of therapies.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious.

Symptoms range from mild to severe and can come and go in cycles. The most common form is plaque psoriasis, which appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells called scale.

Any area may be affected by psoriasis, but it usually appears on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms and soles of feet. There are five types of psoriasis: plaque psoriasis (the most common form), guttate psoriasis (the second most common form), inverse psoriasis (found in the folds

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes skin redness and irritation. Most people with the condition have thick, red skin with flaky, silver-white patches called scales. Psoriasis can develop on any part of the body and is associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.

Psoriasis is a chronic disease that often comes and goes. The main goal of treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly.

There are five types of psoriasis: Plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic. The most common form of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis. It appears as raised, inflamed red lesions covered in silvery white scales that can itch or burn. These patches usually appear on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp but can appear anywhere on the body.

Aside from skin lesions, psoriasis symptoms may include severe itching and pain around patches of skin that crack and bleed. Psoriatic arthritis often develops in patients who have been diagnosed with psoriasis first. Psoriatic arthritis symptoms include swollen fingers or toes, stiff joints or tendons and lower back pain.

Psoriasis is a chronic, long-lasting (chronic) skin disease. It occurs when skin cells grow too quickly, resulting in thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin. The word psoriasis comes from the Greek word psōra meaning “itch.”

What Causes Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is not contagious. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Skin cells are produced deep in the skin and normally take about a month to rise to the surface. Once they arrive, old cells die off as new ones replace them. In psoriasis, this production cycle only lasts about 3 to 4 days. The resulting build-up of old cells is what creates patches of raised, red skin covered by flaky white scales.

Psoriasis Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptoms of psoriasis include:

Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales

Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)

Dry, cracked skin that may bleed

Itching, burning or soreness

Thickened, pitted or ridged nails

Swollen and stiff joints

Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like

Psoriasis is a long-lasting autoimmune disease characterized by patches of abnormal skin. These skin patches are typically red, itchy, and scaly. They may vary in severity from small and localized to complete body coverage. Injury to the skin can trigger psoriatic skin changes at that spot, which is known as the Koebner phenomenon.

There are five main types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic.[2][11] Plaque psoriasis, also known as psoriasis vulgaris, makes up about 90 percent of cases. It typically presents as red patches with white scales on top.[3] Areas of the body most commonly affected are the back of the forearms, shins, navel area, and scalp.[12] Guttate psoriasis has drop-shaped lesions. Pustular psoriasis presents as small non-infectious pus-filled blisters. Inverse psoriasis forms red patches in skin folds.[2][4] Erythrodermic psoriasis occurs when the rash becomes very widespread, and can develop from any of the other types.[13] Fingernails and toenails are affected in most people

Psoriasis is a long-lasting autoimmune disease characterized by patches of abnormal skin. These skin patches are typically red, itchy, and scaly. They may vary in severity from small and localized to complete body coverage. Injury to the skin can trigger psoriatic skin changes at that spot, which is known as the Koebner phenomenon.

Psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of psoriatic arthritis, lymphomas, cardiovascular disease, Crohn’s disease, and depression. There is no cure for psoriasis; however, various treatments can help control the symptoms. The usage of salicylic acid over keratolytic soaps and creams may be advantageous in reducing scales and itching. Treatments applied directly to the affected skin (topical treatment) are typically the first choice in treating mild to moderate psoriasis. Light therapy involving exposure of the affected skin to artificial UVB light or natural sunlight is effective and should be carefully monitored by a physician when used. In more severe cases where inflammation is present, corticosteroids may be used topically or orally in conjunction with retinoids such as acitretin or cyclosporine.

The inflamed skin of those with plaque-type psoriasis has abnormally

Psoriasis is a long-lasting autoimmune disease characterized by patches of abnormal skin. These skin patches are typically red, itchy, and scaly. They may vary in severity from small and localized to complete body coverage. Injury to the skin can trigger psoriatic skin changes at that spot, which is known as the Koebner phenomenon.

Psoriasis is typically diagnosed by the appearance of the skin. Skin biopsies may be necessary in difficult cases. In contrast to eczema, psoriasis is more likely to be found on the outer side of the joint.

The underlying mechanism involves the immune system reacting to skin cells. Genetics is believed to play a role in the mechanism, but environmental factors are also thought to trigger it. There is no cure for psoriasis; however, various treatments can help control the symptoms.

Psoriasis affects 2–4% of people and occurs equally in both sexes and in all ages and ethnic groups worldwide. A number of theories exist as to its origin, but it is not yet known what causes it and there is no permanent cure available. It occurs most commonly between ages 16 and 22, and between ages 57 and 60; cases may appear before age 10 or even at 80 years old or more


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