Psoriasis is a common skin condition causing the skin to become irritated and red. Patients with psoriasis typically have thick, scaly red skin.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Psoriasis is a very common condition that can impact people at any age. Its appearance on the body can happen gradually or rapidly with flare ups occurring repeatedly over time. Psoriasis is not contagious.

Doctors believe psoriasis is caused by the immune system mistaking healthy cells for dangerous or foreign substances. The process of new skin cell generation, which grow deep in the skin and typically take a month to rise to the surface of the skin, is sped up. This causes dead skin cells to rapidly build up on the surface of the skin. Some triggers including: dry air or skin, bacterial or viral infections, skin injuries, certain medications, stress, to little or too much sun and excessive alcohol consumption. 

Psoriasis is believed to be an inherited disorder, meaning it is passed down through families. It can be more severe in patients with weakened immune systems, including those suffering from AIDS/HIV, autoimmune disorders or those receiving chemotherapy for cancers.

Psoriasis can affect any part of the skin. There are five (5) types of psoriasis:

  • Erythrodermic: Intense redness, covering large areas of the skin
  • Guttate: Small, pink-red spots on the skin
  • Inverse: Redness of the armpits, groin and between folds in the skin
  • Plaque: The most common form of psoriasis where thick, red patches of skin are covered by flaky scales
  • Pustular: White blisters surrounded by inflamed, red patches of skin


  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Pink-red skin color
  • Raised and thick patches on the skin
  • Genital lesions in males
  • Achy joints
  • Changes in the color or thickness of nails
  • Severe dandruff


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