Psoriasis, a common, autoimmune disorder, is a chronic skin condition characterized by inflamed, red, raised areas that often develop into silvery scales on the scalp, elbows, knees and lower back. Psoriasis can also be associated with arthritis. It is estimated to affect 7.5 million people in the United States.
The cause of psoriasis is unknown; however, experts believe it is caused by abnormally fast-growing and shedding skin cells. The skin cells multiply quickly, causing the skin to shed every three to four days.
Though not contagious, the condition is hereditary. Psoriasis is often recurrent and occurs in varying severities. Triggers for this autoimmune reaction include:
Different people may experience symptoms differently because psoriasis comes in several forms and severities. The most common types of psoriasis and their symptoms may include:
The symptoms of psoriasis may resemble other skin conditions. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Although there is no cure for psoriasis, treatment goals for psoriasis are to relieve inflammation and reduce the rapid growth and shedding of skin cells. Treatment options may include:
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