Psoriasis is a chronic disorder that creates itchy, red marks on the body. These areas form multi-layered “scales” that vary in severity. Basically, the skin is replacing itself at a rate of up to 10 times faster than normal. A minor outbreak results in a few small, random spots that produce discomfort and may be physically unattractive. A more extreme outbreak can cover the whole body, harming joints and creating arthritic problems in addition to the itching and pain associated with a regular outbreak. In very extreme cases, hospitalization may be necessary. Psoriasis can occur at any age in both males and females. It is not contagious, though there does seem to be a hereditary connection. It is not a life-threatening condition, and in most cases, people who have mild symptoms may not even know that they have psoriasis. Cuts, scratches, infections and dry skin seem to cause flare-ups. In addition, lack of sun exposure and certain medications may cause psoriasis to flare up.
Often, psoriasis affects the same area repeatedly. Elbows, arms, knees and legs are commonly afflicted areas. Generally, your doctor can diagnose you merely by examining your skin, but he or she may also perform a biopsy if needed.
Steroids, oils, sprays, medications, vitamins, light therapy and many other treatments are available. Based on the severity of your condition, your doctor will consult with you to find the treatment that’s best for you. It is important to treat this condition, both to alleviate pain and to help significantly improve your quality of life. If you have psoriasis, you do not need to feel self-conscious about it. Help is available.