What is Psoriasis?

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated August 23, 2013)

If you ever watch television, or even walked down the health care aisle of your local grocery store then chances are you have come across some medication for psoriasis. The answer to this question is rather simple. But the answer to the question isn't really enough. It is also important to know what the symptoms of psoriasis are, as well as some of the more common treatments available.

  • What is it? Simply put, psoriasis is a skin disease. In some ways this disease, or medical condition, is much like a form of cancer. That is because it typically occurs when the skin cells in the body begin to grow too quickly, much in the same way that cancer grows. However, there is a slight difference. That difference is that when the skin cells grow too quickly over the space of a few days rather than a week or two, the body doesn't shed the old or extra cells like it should. This leads to the problem known as psoriasis.
  • Symptoms. Since the most common type of psoriasis is known as plaque psoriasis, that is the one which we will be discussing. This type of psoriasis shows up with a variety of symptoms or signs, the largest of which is the formation of patches of thick, scaly skin that looks to be either white, red or even silvery. If these patches are left untreated for too long, they can begin to form lesions. Further, these patches tend to develop on the elbows, knees, scalp, or lower back.
  • Cause. Despite what some people may think, psoriasis is not a disease that is contagious. This means that you can't get it from touching, swimming with, or getting really personal with someone who has psoriasis. While scientists are still looking for an exact cause, this is a condition that shows up in 150,000 new people each year.
  • Treatments. There are treatments available for those who are afflicted with psoriasis. While a doctor, particularly a dermatologist, is your best bet to getting effective treatment, there are a few things that you can do yourself. The most predominant of which is to recognize that psoriasis can have an adverse effect on a person's quality of life because of painful itching, and cracking skin which can keep people from getting the sleep that they need. Additionally, this can lead to irritability, sadness, and even depression.

Now that you know a little more about psoriasis, you will know what to look out for. Better yet, you will have some idea of what is in store when you go and talk to your doctor. After all, knowledge of what you are dealing is a good way to start when going to see a doctor.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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