Psoriasis is a noncontagious, lifelong skin disease.
Psoriasis can occur on any part of the body and can also cause inflammation of the joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis.
It is usually graded as mild (affecting less than 3% of the body), moderate (affecting 3-10% of the body) or severe.
Psoriasis has been shown to affect health-related quality of life to an extent similar to the effects of other chronic diseases such as depression, myocardial infarction, hypertension, congestive heart failure or type 2 diabetes.
Psoriasis affects both sexes equally and can occur at any age, although it most commonly appears for the first time between the ages of 15 and 25 years.
Psoriasis which is resistant to topical treatment and phototherapy is treated by medications that are taken internally by pill or injection.
Psoriasis does tend to get worse over time but it is not possible to predict who will go on to develop extensive psoriasis or those in whom the disease may appear to vanish.
Psoriasis is a chronic, meaning lifelong, condition because there is currently no cure.
When psoriasis covers all or most of the body it is an emergency that requires a hospital stay.
Psoriasis can cause as little as a single dimple on one of your finger or toe nails, or affect as much as the majority of your skin surface, your joints, and your eyes.
Psoriasis runs in some families, but that is not mean that everyone in a family will get it.
A relatively common skin disease psoriasis affects between 1% to 2% of the population. .
The most common form, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches or lesions covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells, called scale.
The scaly patches caused by psoriasis, called psoriatic plaques, are areas of inflammation and excessive skin production.
Ten to fifteen percent of people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis.
Individuals with psoriasis may suffer from depression and loss of self-esteem.
There are many treatments available but because of its chronic recurrent nature psoriasis is a challenge to treat.
These numerous spots of psoriasis appear over large areas of the body, such as the trunk, limbs, and scalp.
Guttate psoriasis is associated with streptococcal throat infection. A diagnosis of psoriasis is usually based on the appearance of the skin.
There are no special blood tests or diagnostic procedures for psoriasis.
Individuals with psoriasis may also feel self-conscious about their appearance and have a poor self-image that stems from fear of public rejection and psychosexual concerns.
Around one-third of people with psoriasis report a family history of the disease.
Onset before age 40 usually indicates a greater genetic susceptibility and a more severe or recurrent course of psoriasis.
For many people psoriasis may worsen or improve for no apparent reason.
Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and obesity may exacerbate psoriasis.
The effectiveness of specific treatments may vary significantly between individuals.
Medications with significant toxicity are reserved for severe unresponsive psoriasis.
And psoriasis can become resistant to a specific therapy over time.
Daily, short, non-burning exposure to sunlight often helps to clear or improve psoriasis.
Some people subscribe to the view that psoriasis can be effectively managed through a healthy lifestyle.
This type of "lifestyle" treatment is suggested as a long-term management strategy, rather than an initial treatment of severe psoriasis.
Some psoriasis patients use herbology as a holistic approach that aims to treat the underlying causes of psoriasis.
About 1 in 10 people develop psoriasis during childhood, and psoriasis can begin in infancy.
The earlier the psoriasis appears, the more likely it is to be widespread and recurrent.
While scientists still do not fully know what causes psoriasis, research has significantly advanced our understanding.
Researchers now believe that psoriasis is an immune-mediated condition.
It is believed that psoriasis develops when the immune system tells the body to over-react and accelerate the growth of skin cells.
When psoriasis develops, the skin cells mature in 3 to 6 days and move to the skin surface.
Researchers have identified genes that cause psoriasis.
These genes can cause psoriasis or another immune-mediated condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes.
Medications that can trigger psoriasis include anti-malarial drugs, beta-blockers (medication used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions), and lithium.
Dermatologists have seen psoriasis suddenly appear after a person takes one of these medications, gets a strep infection, or experiences another trigger.
In persons with psoriasis, this process is too fast and dead skin cells build up on the skin's surface.
In general, psoriasis may be severe in persons who have a weakened immune system.
Persons with very severe psoriasis may receive medicines to suppress the body's immune response.
Keeping skin clean and moist and avoiding your specific psoriasis triggers may help reduce the number of flare-ups.
Doctors recommend daily baths or showers for persons with psoriasis.
Factors such as smoking, sun exposure, alcoholism, and HIV infection may affect how often the psoriasis occurs and how long the flares up last.
Females develop plaque psoriasis earlier than males.
The first peak occurrence of plaque psoriasis is in people aged 16-22 years.
Studies have shown that more people in western European and Scandinavian populations have psoriasis than those in other population groups. With psoriasis, the entire life cycle takes only days.
Although no permanent cure exists psoriasis treatments may offer significant relief.
If you have psoriasis you can help prevent your skin from drying by using skin moisturisers regularly.