What is Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes skin cells to rapidly grow and buildup, causing bumpy red patches and scaly white skin to form.

That patches can form anywhere on the body, but typically appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that tends to begin in childhood. It’s common for symptoms to act in cycles, sometimes having none, or mild symptoms, to having periods of severe symptoms.


Symptoms can vary depending on the person.

Common symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Red patches of inflamed skin
  • White or silvery scales
  • Dry skin that may crack, bleed, or itch
  • Swollen, stiff joints
  • Burning or pain around the patches
  • Thick, pitted, or ridged nails


Psoriasis is a condition in which the body’s immune system causes the skin to rapidly grow and regenerate faster than normal.

The exact cause of why the immune system does this is currently unknown, but it’s thought that genetics and environmental factors play a role.


Fortunately, psoriasis is not contagious. So there’s no worry about spreading or catching the condition.

Risk Factors & Triggers

Though, it’s common to develop psoriasis in childhood, it can also develop as an adult.

Adults who may be predisposed to psoriasis may never experience a system until it’s triggered by environmental factors.

Common psoriasis risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Stress
  • Smoking

Common psoriasis triggers include:

  • Infections
  • Cold, dry weather
  • Injury where skin is broken
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Second-hand smoke exposure
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Certain medications (like antimalaria and high blood pressure medications)


There is no cure to psoriasis, but the symptoms can be managed.

Common treatments for psoriasis include creams and ointments to help mild to moderate psoriasis, or medication and light therapy for more severe cases.

It may take time before finding the treatment that best works for you. Discussing your options with your doctor is the best bet.

When to See a Medical Doctor

If you’re experiencing symptoms of psoriasis, or have psoriasis and how you’re currently treating it isn’t helping, speak to a doctor.

Everyone responds to treatments differently, and what may work for one person may not work for another.

Speaking to a doctor, and discussing the different treatment options, is the best way to find effective and lasting psoriasis relief.