Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease. It is treatable, but not curable. 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, which pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear. Psoriasis may look contagious, but it’s not. You cannot get psoriasis from touching someone who has it. To get psoriasis, a person must inherit the genes that cause it.
In the United States, about 7.5 million people have psoriasis. Psoriasis can begin at any age, but most people get psoriasis between 15 and 30 years of age. Many people say that their psoriasis began after they experienced one of these common psoriasis triggers: a stressful event, strep throat, taking certain medicines, such as lithium, or medicine to prevent malaria, cold, dry weather, or a cut, scratch, or bad sunburn.
Treatment of psoriasis can reduce signs and symptoms of the disease, which usually makes a person feel better. With treatment, some people see their skin completely clear. Treatment can even improve a person’s quality of life. Thanks to ongoing research, there are many treatments for psoriasis. At Horizon Dermatology and Laser Institute, we can help you find a treatment that works for you and fits your lifestyle.