Psoriasis

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Psoriasis is not contagious.

Is Psoriasis Contagious?

No. Psoriasis is not contagious. Psoriasis is not transmitted sexually or by physical contact. Psoriasis is not caused by lifestyle, diet, or bad hygiene.

While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, researchers consider environmental, genetic, and immune system factors as playing roles in the establishment of the disease.

Quick GuidePsoriasis Types, Images, Treatments

Psoriasis Types, Images, Treatments

Psoriasis facts

  • Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease.
  • Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis.
  • Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are more common in people with psoriasis.
  • Psoriasis can be initiated by certain environmental triggers.
  • A predisposition for psoriasis is inherited in genes.
  • Although symptoms and signs vary, they include red, scaling plaques of itchy, elevated skin affecting the elbows, knees and scalp.
  • Psoriasis is not contagious.
  • Psoriasis gets better and worse spontaneously and can have periodic remissions (clear skin).
  • Psoriasis is controllable with medication.
  • Psoriasis is currently not curable.
  • There are many promising new therapies, including newer biologic drugs.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/23/2017

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