What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a non-contagious chronic skin condition that is estimated to affect 80 to 120 million people. Psoriasis is characterized by patches of thick, red, inflamed skin and dry, silvery flakes of skin known as scales. Symptoms of psoriasis range in severity from barely noticeable to outbreaks of lesions that cover most of the body. Psoriasis is also known to cause a form of arthritis, known as psoriatic arthritis. The condition is not contagious, so it cannot spread from person to person. By knowing the causes, symptoms and treatments of psoriasis people can cope with the physical and emotional challenges of living with the condition.

Causes of Psoriasis

While the actual cause of psoriasis is unknown, it is believed to result from genes that influence the immune response in the skin, possibly causing areas in which the immune system is inadvertently directed against the body’s own cells. Some people have a genetic makeup that makes it more likely to develop psoriasis than others, and about one third of the people with psoriasis also have a family member with the condition. Psoriasis can flare up at any time without any apparent cause, but it is often initiated or aggravated by specific triggers. Some examples of triggers that may aggravate psoriasis symptoms include:

  • Environmental factors such as stress, sunburn and weather conditions
  • Medications such as lithium and beta-blockers
  • Illness or skin injury such as strep infections, cuts, burns and scratching

Who Gets Psoriasis?

Psoriasis can affect all age groups, but it primarily affects adults. About three-quarters of people with the condition develop it before the age of 40, and only about one in ten develop it in their childhood years. Males and females are affected about equally. Psoriasis is most common in people of northern European descent, varies among other ethnicities, and is rare in Native Americans. More than half of the psoriasis cases are mild, covering less than 3 percent of the body, with fewer moderate cases. Severe cases that cover more than 10 percent of the body are the least common. Although people may inherit the genes that make them more likely to develop the disease, they may or may not develop psoriasis due to a wide variability in triggers, environment, and personal health factors.

Psoriasis Treatment Options (not limited to):

+Topical Steroids
+Photo Therapy (Light Therapy)
+Immunosuppressant Drugs
+Oral Retinoid

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