Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes cells to develop rapidly on the skin. This overgrowth can lead to thick, scaly plaques that may itch or cause discomfort. Psoriasis usually starts in early adulthood, though it can begin later in life. People of any age, gender or race can get psoriasis. There are several different types of psoriasis that vary, depending on the appearance of the scales and their location on the body. Recent developments in psoriasis treatment mean that they can reduce the number of flares, and their severity.


Psoriasis may appear anywhere on the body but will often affect the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back. For some people, psoriasis appears as a few spots of dandruff-like scaling that is more of a nuisance than anything else. In other people, it is a severe condition that is painful, disfiguring, and disabling.  Signs and symptoms of psoriasis vary depending on the type of psoriasis. They typically include one or more of the following:

  • Red raised patches of skin covered with loose silvery scales (plaques)
  • Dry cracked skin (which may bleed)
  • Itching, burning, and soreness
  • Thick, pitted or ridged nails
  • Swollen, painful, and stiff joints
  • Nails that are pitted, cracked or crumbly.

Causes of Psoriasis

While the cause of psoriasis is still unclear, scientists believe that it is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases affect the immune system, which produces T cells to protect the body against infectious agents. In people with psoriasis, triggers can lead to their genes instructing the immune system to target the wrong cells. T cells respond to a trigger as if they are fighting an infection or healing a wound. They produce chemicals that cause inflammation. In psoriasis, this autoimmune activity leads to the excessive growth of skin cells. Typically, skin cells take about 21–28 days to replace themselves. However, in people with psoriasis, they take around 2–6 days.

  • Skin injury (cuts, scrapes or surgery).
  • Emotional stress.
  • Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
  • Certain medicines
  • Cold weather
  • Heavy alcohol consumption


If a doctor confirms psoriasis, treatment will depend on the type and severity of the condition. The main options include medications and phototherapy. People with psoriasis should use emollients to keep the skin moisturized when taking other treatments. This precaution can help reduce the itching and irritation and may reduce the number of lesions or plaques that develop. Treatment plan based on: Severity of the rash, Where the rash is on your body, Your age, Your overall health.

  • Medications
  • Topical therapies
  • Biologics
  • Phototherapy

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