Psoriasis is an auto-immune skin disorder in which certain areas of skin become inflamed and the skin cells consequently turn over faster. Because of this, people with psoriasis have thicker skin in areas which flakes and can even bleed. The involved areas can be itchy and irritating or not cause symptoms. It is a condition which causes general inflammation in the body as well which can increase the risk for systemic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke. Psoriasis can also involve the joints directly and this occurs in roughly 1/3 of psoriatic patients.
The condition is not contagious and has a large hereditary component. Although it often skips generations.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
- Bumps and areas of raised red skin that may cause painful itching.
- Disorders of the fingernails and toenails. Followed by discoloration of the nails.
- Scales or crusty skin along the scalp.
The treatment of psoriasis has changed dramatically over the past 5 years and continues to change and improve. Newer medications can finally give patients completely clear skin.