Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common skin condition where people have a buildup of rough, dry, dead skin cells. They look like raised, reddish-pink areas covered with silvery scales and red borders.

Psoriasis usually occurs on the scalp, elbows, knees, groin, and lower back. It is a long-lasting or chronic disease that "comes and goes," and may show up as a few spots, or involve large areas. It is not contagious. You cannot spread it from one part of your body to another, or from person to person.

More than 6 million people in the United States have psoriasis. You can develop psoriasis at any age, though it tends to come on during adolescence and old age. It usually comes on gradually, in both men and women. Doctors think psoriasis may be an inherited disease that can be triggered by emotional stress.

Most cases are not painful, although severe ones can be. About 5% of people with psoriasis also get psoriatic arthritis, a serious condition that involves painful and swollen joints.

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Review Date: 4/27/2016  

Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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