Psoriasis is a common skin condition that affects millions of people around the globe. Psoriasis causes patches of skin to become thick, red, inflamed, and extremely dry and flakey. This skin condition usually develops in adulthood, but can affect men and women of all ages and ethnicities. Most psoriasis cases are mild and the condition is not contagious. However, psoriasis is a chronic (on-going) condition as there is no known cure. Many people who suffer from psoriasis find it to be, at most, a nuisance, and dislike the appearance of their skin. Some cases of psoriasis can become severe and disabling. It is advised to seek out a medical professional to help manage this persistent skin condition.

Causes: Doctors are not certain of the actual cause of psoriasis. Normal skin tends to grow slowly to the surface and, as it is replaced by new skin underneath, the old skin flakes off. This process takes about four weeks. However, skin afflicted with psoriasis grows in days, not weeks. This rapid growth builds up and forms thick patches of skin. It is believed that some people inherit a genetic makeup that causes their skin to overreact this way.

People who suffer from psoriasis will also notice that there are certain factors which worsen their condition, such as extreme climates, stress, certain medications, and smoking.

Symptoms: Symptoms of psoriasis can range from mild, moderate, to severe. Mild symptoms will usually include a small area of rash. Moderate to severe cases tend to involve inflamed and raised red areas of the skin along with flakey, dry skin. It can also be very itchy and tender to the touch. Patches of severe psoriasis can sometimes cover large areas of the skin. Occasionally, psoriasis can cause swollen joints, otherwise known as psoriatic arthritis.

Treatment: Psoriasis symptoms can often disappear without treatment, but symptoms almost always return. Managing psoriasis can start at home, with proper skin care, using lotions and creams to keep the skin moist. It is also important to avoid triggers that are known to bring about a psoriasis flare-up.

To help manage moderate to severe cases of psoriasis, doctors can prescribe medication (oral and topical). UVA light therapy is also another option for treatment.


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