View Table of Contents
- Psoriasis facts
- What is psoriasis?
- What causes psoriasis?
- What does psoriasis look like? What are psoriasis symptoms and signs?
- What does psoriasis look like? What are psoriasis symptoms and signs? (Continued)
- Can psoriasis affect my joints?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose psoriasis?
- Can psoriasis affect only my nails?
- How many people have psoriasis?
- Is psoriasis curable?
- Is psoriasis contagious?
- Can I transmit the gene for psoriasis to my children?
- What kind of doctor treats psoriasis?
- What is the treatment for psoriasis?
- What creams, lotions, and home remedies are available for psoriasis?
- What oral medications are available?
- What injections or infusions are available for psoriasis?
- What injections or infusions are available for psoriasis? (Continued)
- What about light therapy for psoriasis?
- Where can I get more information on psoriasis?
- Is there a national psoriasis support group?
- What is my long-term prognosis with psoriasis? What are complications of psoriasis?
- What does the future hold?
What causes psoriasis?
The exact cause remains unknown. There may be a combination of factors, including genetic predisposition and environmental factors. It is common for psoriasis to be found in members of the same family. The immune system is thought to play a major role. Despite research over the past 30 years looking at many triggers, the "master switch" that turns on psoriasis is still a mystery.
What does psoriasis look like? What are psoriasis symptoms and signs?
Psoriasis appears as red or pink areas of thickened, raised, and scaling skin. It classically affects areas over the elbows, knees, and scalp. Although any body area may be involved, it tends to be more common in areas of trauma, scratching, or abrasions.
Psoriasis may vary in appearance. It often appears as small flattened scaly bumps and larger thick plaques of raised skin.
There are several different types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris (common type), guttate psoriasis (small, drop-like spots), inverse psoriasis (in the folds like of the underarms, navel, groin, and buttocks), and pustular psoriasis (small pus-filled yellowish blisters). When the palms and the soles are involved, this is known as palmoplantar psoriasis.