What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that generally appears as patches of raised red skin covered by a flaky white build-up. Although the exact cause is unknown, psoriasis is believed to be related to faulty signals sent by the body's immune system. These signals accelerate the growth cycle in skin cells, which pile up on the surface when the body can't shed them fast enough.
Is Psoriasis contagious?
No one can "catch" it from another person. It has a genetic component that makes certain people more likely to develop it, but often an external or environmental "trigger" is necessary to make psoriasis appear. These triggers may include emotional stress, injury to the skin, some types of infection and reaction to certain drugs.
The most common form of psoriasis is called "plaque psoriasis".about 80 percent of people with psoriasis have this type. Plaque psoriasis can appear on any skin surface, although the knees, elbows, scalp, trunk and nails are the most common locations.
There are several other types of psoriasis, and between 10 percent and 30 percent of people with psoriasis also develop a related form of arthritis, called psoriatic arthritis.