Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes cells to build up on the surface of the skin. This buildup of skin cells leads to red, scaly patches, known as plaques, which can be itchy and painful.
The exact cause of psoriasis is not known, but it is believed to be related to an overactive immune system. Certain triggers, such as stress, injury to the skin, and certain medications, can cause flare-ups of psoriasis.
Psoriasis can affect any part of the body, but it most commonly affects the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Symptoms of psoriasis can vary, but typical symptoms include:
- Red, scaly patches of skin
- Silvery, white scales on top of the red patches
- Itching and burning sensations
- Thick, pitted nails
- Stiff, painful joints (in some cases)
There is no cure for psoriasis, but treatments can help reduce symptoms and improve the appearance of the skin. Treatment options for psoriasis may include topical creams, phototherapy (light therapy), oral medications, and biologic drugs. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be recommended.
It is important to work closely with a doctor to determine the best treatment plan for you. With proper treatment, most people with psoriasis are able to manage their symptoms and enjoy healthy, active lives.