Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease. It develops when a person’s immune system sends faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly. New skin cells form in days, rather than weeks.
The body does not shed these excess skin cells so they pile up on the surface of the skin, causing thick plaques of psoriasis to appear. Psoriasis is NOT contagious. You cannot get psoriasis from touching someone who has it. To get psoriasis, you must inherit the genes that cause it.
If you have psoriasis, you will have one or more of these types:
Psoriasis is a chronic disease, which means most people have the condition for life. By working with a dermatologist, you can find a treatment plan that works for you. Psoriasis treatments fall into three categories:
Topical (applied to the skin): Used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis as well as localized psoriasis of the scalp, hands, feet and groin.
Phototherapy (light, usually ultraviolet, applied to the skin): Used to treat moderate to severe psoriasis when it involves a large surface of the body. The UV light, suppresses the hyperactive immune system in the skin leading to improvement in the skin lesions.
Systemic (taken orally or by injection or infusion): Used to treat moderate to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.