What is Psoriasis? Psoriasis (sore-EYE-ah-sis) is a skin condition that occurs when skin cells grow too quickly. New skin cells form in days rather than weeks and the body does not shed these excess skin cells, so the cells pile up on the surface of the skin and patchy lesions form on the skin. See the Psoriasis photos below.
The lesions vary in appearance with the type of psoriasis. There are several different types of psoriasis. Psoriasis causes patches of thick, scaly skin that may be white, silvery, or red. Called plaques these patches can develop anywhere on the skin. The most common areas to find plaques are the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp.
Psoriasis also can also affect the nails. About half of people with psoriasis see changes in their fingernails and/or toenails. If the nails begin to pull away from the nail bed or develop pitting, ridges, or a yellowish-orange color, this could be a sign of psoriatic (sore-EE-at-ic) arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis can progress and become debilitating.
Psoriasis is not contagious. You can’t ‘catch’ psoriasis from touching someone with it. Psoriasis is a much more complex issue.
What actually happens when someone develops psoriasis and it’s possible causes are still being studied, but are generally not understood. A person’s immune system and genetics play a role in the development of the disease.
Scientists also have learned that (as with all diseases) not everyone who inherits genes for psoriasis gets psoriasis. For psoriasis to appear, it seems that a person must inherit the “right” mix of genes and be exposed to a trigger. Some common triggers are a stressful life event, skin injury, and having strep throat. Many people say that that their psoriasis first appeared after experiencing one of these. These triggers are not universal however as what triggers psoriasis in one person may not cause psoriasis to develop in another.
Psoriasis can be managed and it’s effects reduced by taking care of your body, eating a healthy diet. staying healthy and using products designed to reduce the symptoms and effects of psoriasis.Tweet