• Psoriasis is a lifelong disease of the immune system that affects the skin. Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that most commonly causes red skin patches, often covered with silver flaky scales, which form in areas where new skin cells grow faster than normal. Inflammation, pain, and itching can occur.

  • Causes of psoriasis The cause of psoriasis is not clear. One theory among researchers is that certain cells in the immune system (called T cells) are triggered and become overactive. This T cell activity causes inflammation, and the outer layer of skin cells shed and are replaced much faster than normal - in about 3 to 5 days instead of the normal 28 to 30 days.

  • There are different types of psoriasis. Psoriasis is characterized by lesions on the skin. Often, the lesions appear symmetrically (the same place on both sides of the body). The lesions can be painful and itchy. Depending on the type of psoriasis, the lesions can appear different and vary in size: Plaque psoriasis lesions are usually well-defined, red, raised plaques covered with silvery, shiny scales.

  • Although the exact cause of psoriasis is not known, experts believe that the immune system is triggered by certain factors to cause psoriasis. When you encounter your psoriasis triggers, you may experience symptoms - called a flare-up - or your existing symptoms may get worse. Sometimes, triggers can even lead to the development of psoriasis and the first occurrence.

  • For the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis, your doctor might recommend that you see a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a medical specialist with extensive training in diagnosing and treating skin, nail, and hair conditions. You may also request a referral from your doctor to see a dermatologist who specializes in psoriasis.

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