Many individuals are curious about what psoriasis is like or what it is? They see someone with it and may be afraid to touch him or her in fear of it being contagious. If you know someone who has psoriasis, perhaps a friend or a family member so learning all you can about the skin disease can help you to feel more at ease around the person. They will probably be glad that you took the time to get answers for your questions about psoriasis. This article contains answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a skin disease that researchers believe to a genetic manifesting skin and sometimes-joint disease. Approximately 7.5 million Americans have the disease, so it is quite common. Most of the individuals with psoriasis have the common form called, "plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis looks like patches of skin covered in "lesions" that are red, inflamed and covered in silvery white scales. There may be just a few of these lesions or there may be a lot. Most individuals who have psoriasis have a mild case of it. Psoriasis can also be moderate or even severe in how much of the body is covered and the number of lesions.
Psoriasis is not contagious and those who have it pose no threat to anyone else regarding getting psoriasis from them.
Scientists and researchers do not know yet, exactly what causes psoriasis but it is indicated through studies that the immune system is involved. Triggers speed up the division of cells in the skin in the individual with psoriasis. A normal skin cell takes approximately 28 to 30 days to mature and fall off the surface of the skin. The individual with psoriasis has skin cells that may take only 3 to 4 days to mature and move to the surface of the skin. Instead of falling off like normal skin cells do, these cells pile up and form lesions.
A doctor or dermatologist can diagnose psoriasis by examining the affected skin area and can make a diagnosis based on visual observations. Rarely a skin biopsy may be taken to verify the diagnosis.
There is no cure for psoriasis but there are treatments that can soothe, and lessen the appearance of the skin condition. Treatments are both topical (applied to the skin) and systemic (travel through the entire body). Treatments can clear up the condition for periods of time. Flare-ups will occur in response to triggers.
No every treatment is going to work for everyone. Some work better than others to treat a particular case. One tool that has been successful at helping to determine what works best is to keep a Psoriasis journal. Jot down in this journal the different skin care products that you use and the reaction your skin has. Write down what treatments are tried and when they are started. Record any reactions and how long it takes for your psoriasis to clear.
Psoriasis typically first appears around age 15 to 35 but it can develop at any age. Some infants are born with psoriasis.
Psoriasis appears in all races and equally among males and females. Individuals of all socioeconomic groups get psoriasis.