What is psoriasis?

Antonio La Paralela
octubre 29, 2020
Tiempo de lectura: 2 minutos

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a non-contagious dermatological condition that causes skin cells to multiply much faster than they should.
Normal skin cells usually grow and change completely within a month, but with psoriasis, this process takes place in just three or four days. Its classic manifestation is the appearance of various sized patches that are itchy, red and flaky. The lesions can appear anywhere on your body, but usually appear on the scalp, elbows, knees, nails, hands, feet and back.
People with psoriasis can also develop a type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain and swelling in the joints. The American National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis.


What are the causes of psoriasis?

Caused by a dysfunction of the immune system, psoriasis affects 2% to 4% of the population. It is an autoimmune disease, which means that part of your body’s own immune system becomes overactive and attacks the body’s normal tissue. Psoriasis usually appears in people aged 15 to 35, but also affects children and older people.
Scientists do not know exactly what causes psoriasis, but we know that the immune system and genetics play a significant role in its development. Psoriasis is diagnosed by a dermatologist who will evaluate the lesions during a physical examination. The doctor may also do a biopsy: remove a small sample of tissue and analyze it to make sure it is not a skin infection. There are no other tests to confirm or rule out psoriasis.


What is the treatment of psoriasis?

There are many types of treatments, but there is no definitive cure yet. Dermatologists tailor treatment plans based on the location, severity and size of the lesions, lifestyle, age and other factors. Treatment options range from less aggressive options, such as moisturizers, corticoid creams and retinoid creams, to moderate and more severe treatments, such as:

  • ultraviolet light (phototherapy), which slows the acceleration of growth of skin cells.
  • oral, subcutaneous, intramuscular and intravenous medicines.


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