Psoriasis is characterized by red patches covered by dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. The condition may be very embarrassing and troubling for some patients, while others may consider it just a mild nuisance. If you notice symptoms of psoriasis, see a licensed physician or skincare professional immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

What Causes Psoriasis?

The exact cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, although it is related to the immune system. T-cells in patients who have psoriasis malfunction and attack normal cells in addition to bacteria and viruses. An overproduction of skin cells may cause new skin cells to reach the surface quicker than they normally would, and dead skin cells are not shed fast enough, resulting in a buildup on the skin's surface. This is the scaly appearance associated with psoriasis.

Is it Curable?

No, there is currently no cure for psoriasis. However, certain treatments may reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Topical creams, lotions and moisturizers may be used, as well as shampoos and foams to relieve psoriasis on the scalp. Topical corticosteroids are often used as treatment, as well as other topical medications.

Oral medications may also be prescribed to treat psoriasis, as well as phototherapy. Phototherapy utilizes ultraviolet light sources (natural or artificial) to provide relief. Certain medications may be applied prior to phototherapy to make the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet light.

What Else Can You Tell Me About Psoriasis?

There are several types of psoriasis and each may be associated with certain symptoms. Psoriasis may appear on the scalp, may affect the nails and may cause stiffness or soreness in the joints. Guttate psoriasis is found in individuals under 30 and is associated with sores on the trunk, arms, legs and scalp.

The disease is not contagious. You cannot catch psoriasis from another person and you cannot spread the disease to other people. The condition is not caused by poor hygiene, although other environmental factors such as cold weather, stress, smoking and heavy alcohol consumption may trigger psoriasis or worsen the condition.

For more information about psoriasis and/or if you think you may have the condition, consult a licensed physician or skincare professional in the area. This is the best resource for further information about psoriasis and other skin condition. SkinCareGuide.com also features further information about psoriasis.