What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition which is not infectious that causes red, flaky and crusty patches of skin.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease that can occur at any time. With psoriasis, T cells start to attack healthy skin cells by mistake, triggering the immune system to produce more of both cells. The cycle of skin cell production increases so that skin cells are created and then die in a space of five to six days instead of 28. The dead skin cells build up on the skin is thick patches.
Plaque psoriasis accounts for 80% of all cases and causes dry, red skin lesions covered in silver scales. Guttate psoriasis normally follows a streptococcal throat infection and causes drop-shaped sores. Scalp psoriasis causes red patches of skin covered in thick scales on their scalp. Nail psoriasis causes your nails to grow abnormally. Inverse psoriasis affects areas of the skin in folds or creases and causes large, smooth red patches. Pustular psoriasis is rarer, and causes pus-filled blisters on the skin.
How common is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis affects 2% of people in the UK, and usually develops between the ages of 11 and 45.
What are the symptoms of Psoriasis?
Most cases of psoriasis go through cycles. There are different types of psoriasis with different symptoms, but you will usually have thickened and red patches of skin. Your skin may feel itchy, and can sometimes feel painful or sore. If you have only very mild symptoms, you may not be aware you have it.
How is Psoriasis treated?
Psoriasis cannot be cured, but it can be treated with creams and ointments, phototherapy, and oral and injected medication.
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