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Psoriasis is a type of autoimmune disease where your body’s immune system causes your skin cells to produce too quickly. When this happens, the skin cells start to build up, producing an area of red, scaly, sometimes itchy, skin.

Usually, psoriasis affects “the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear on any location.” And though psoriasis may look infectious, it is not. You can’t catch psoriasis from someone by touching an affected area.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has a video guide for patients with psoriasis:

Kinds of psoriasis

Psoriasis comes in five different types. Knowing the kind of psoriasis you have will help determine treatment options for that particular type.

  • Plaque psoriasis
  • Guttate psoriasis
  • Inverse psoriasis
  • Pustular psoriasis
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis

You can see the different types of psoriasis, along with pictures, at Psoriasis.org.

What causes psoriasis?

There seems to be some genetic component—you’re more likely to develop psoriasis if you have a family member with the disease—but not always. Psoriasis is somehow linked to your immune system, and it may involve certain genes.

How do I treat psoriasis?

Our dermatologists here at Horizon Family Medical Group can help you properly diagnose the type of psoriasis you have, and then work with you to develop a specific treatment plan aimed at your symptoms. Your doctor may recommend biologic or systemic medications, or oral treatments combined with topical prescriptions.

What’s my long-term prognosis?

We can’t cure your psoriasis. It’s something you’ll probably live with your entire life. But, by working with your dermatologist here at Horizon Family Medical Group, you can find a treatment plan that reduces your symptoms. Many patients with psoriasis have active lifestyles and high quality of life.

 

RESOURCES

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/basics/definition/con-20030838
  2. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis
  3. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/scaly-skin/psoriasis#overview
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