Psoriasis can be found anywhere on the body and appears like:

  • Dry, red raised patches of skin
  • Covered by white silvery scales called plaques

These lesions can make the skin itch, burn, flake or bleed.

Psoriasis affects about 2-3% of the population or approximately 125 million people worldwide. The first signs of psoriasis usually occur between the ages of 15 and 35.

Psoriasis is the result of a misdirection of the immune system. Our immune system becomes confused and attacks our own skin leading to the inflammatory condition we see as psoriasis. The immune system reacts to a trigger which may be an injury to the skin or an infection.  It is possible that the trigger for psoriasis is different in each person depending on their genes. Although many possibilities exist there are no genes that explain all the causes and types of psoriasis.

Types of Psoriasis

The most common type, plaque psoriasis, involves patches of raised, red skin covered with a silvery white flaky scale.

Another chronic type of psoriasis is pustular psoriasis.  Typically pustular psoriasis affects the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.

A precursor to plaque psoriasis is guttate psoriasis. It is usually temporary and can affect the trunk, arms, legs and face.

Erythrodermic psoriasis is a rare but severe flare that usually affects the whole body.

In general psoriasis is

  • A life-long or chronic condition
  • Non-contagious – You can’t catch it from someone or give it to someone
  • Recurring – it often goes away and comes back

Psoriasis can appear at any age, can be unpredictable, and can vary in severity.  This skin condition not only affects people physically, but emotionally as well.

There are a variety of treatments available, but because of its ongoing and often recurring nature, psoriasis is a challenge to treat.

For more information about psoriasis please visit


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