Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes cells to replenish rapidly. In psoriasis, skin cells only take days to grow, whereas in normal skin, this process takes approximately four weeks. The extra skin cells build up on the skin in thick, silvery patches. The scales can become red and irritated. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis and is often seen on elbows, knees, hands and feet.
The cause of psoriasis is likely an immune system disorder that triggers T-cells to attack healthy skin cells. Because the body mistakenly believes it is fighting an infection, more healthy skin cells and white blood cells are produced. The patches of skin flake off when the skin cells die.
Psoriasis likely has a genetic link. Many people who suffer from the condition have a family member who also has psoriasis. Both men and women, of all races, suffer from psoriasis. The condition is less common in children. There is no known cure, but the symptoms may improve. Psoriasis is a lifelong condition and symptoms may come and go with varying degrees of severity.
An injury anywhere on the body can trigger a psoriasis outbreak. Other things that can trigger an outbreak are sunburns, certain medications, stress, smoking, drinking alcohol and hormonal changes. Psoriasis is likely to flare during puberty and menopause, but it may improve during pregnancy. A moderate amount of sunlight seems to help ease the symptoms of psoriasis. Many psoriasis sufferers also find relief by keeping the skin moisturized. Visit Dr. Zizmor for a consultation.