Psoriasis is a condition that affects a large number of people across the world. Characterized by red, flaky skin, psoriasis comes from a long-lasting problem with the immune system. It could be triggered by stress, infections, a cold, or related to other medical conditions or medicines. Psoriasis is treatable, but there is no known cure.
There are several symptoms associated with psoriasis including scaling, inflammation, dry or cracked skin, pain, swelling, heat, itching, redness, and pitted nails or separation from the nail bed. In plaque psoriasis, the plaques refer to the red or silvery flakes or scales of skin. Most commonly, it can be found on elbows, knees, scalps, legs, backs, and faces but can also be seen around fingernails, toenails, inside the mouth, genitals, and skin folds.
Typically, when skin cells grow and regenerate, it is a slow process called turnover that can take a whole month to complete. In the case of psoriasis, the entire process happens in days which is ten times faster than normal. This rapid process is what causes plaques. Because the immune system is overactive, it releases T-cells which are usually only present when there is a problem with your body that needs to be healed. When the T-cells act up in an otherwise healthy body, it causes overactivity.
Anyone can get psoriasis, but it is most common in adults. If there is a family history of this immune system problem, you may be more likely to develop it. This skin disease can also be hard to diagnose because it can look like a variety of other skin conditions. There are several treatments for psoriasis. The most commonly used are topical treatments like ointments. Other treatments include light therapy, medications, or a combination of all three. It can be embarrassing to have psoriasis; it is important to work closely with your doctor to get the treatment you need to take care of this skin condition.