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What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes thick red marks that look like scales to form. The thick scaling is due to an increase in the number of skin cells. The cause of psoriasis starts with the immune system. T cells, a type of white blood cell, usually protect the body against infection and disease by attacking bacteria and viruses. However, when you have psoriasis, your T cells mistakenly attack your skin cells instead. Your body then produces other immune system responses, leading to swelling and rapid production of skin cells. Psoriasis tends to run in families and it usually appears between the ages of 10 and 45.

People who have psoriasis may experience periods of time without any symptoms. Other times, psoriasis will "flare up" (get worse). Certain things that can cause the psoriasis to get worse include:

  • Infections (such as strep throat and the common cold)
  • Diseases that weaken the immune system
  • Stress
  • Certain medicines (such as beta-blockers for high blood pressure and drugs used to prevent malaria)
  • Skin irritations
  • Cold weather
  • Smoking
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

The symptoms of psoriasis may include:

  • Red, raised patches of scaly skin
  • Dry, cracked skin (that may also bleed at times)
  • Skin that burns, is itchy or sore
  • Thick, pitted fingernails
  • Pus-filled blisters on the red patches of skin (in more severe cases)
A person who has psoriasis may have red, scaly patches on the skin of the knees and elbows, although psoriasis may occur anywhere on the body (including the scalp, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, mouth and skin on the joints.

Is psoriasis contagious?

No, you cannot catch psoriasis from another person or give it to someone by touching them. You also cannot spread it to other parts of your body.

Facts about psoriasis:

  • Body lotion can help keep skin from getting too dry and cracking.
  • While psoriasis will typically improve with treatment, it may not ever completely go away.
  • Psoriasis is a chronic disorder caused by the excessive production of skin cells, characterized by thick, red, scaly patches of skin called plaques.
  • While about 90% of all cases of psoriasis can be categorized as plaque psoriasis, other forms of the disease include guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, pustular psoriasis and erythrodermic psoriasis.
  • The cause of psoriasis is unknown, but studies suggest that it could be due to a dysfunction of the immune system
  • StrikingSkin has treatments and products that can reduce the symptoms of psoriasis!