Psoriasis is a serious skin condition that affects a sufferer for his or her entire life. Currently, psoriasis affects more than 4 million people in the United States, and those numbers are continuing to grow annually. For an extensive overview of psoriasis, and for more information about how to get help, visit the website for the National Psoriasis Foundation at www.psoriasis.org.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a noncontagious disease of the skin that is typically linked to genetics and varies in severity. Psoriasis is characterized by “lesions” on the skin, which are rough patches that develop white or silver scales.
Is psoriasis contagious?
No, psoriasis cannot be passed onto others, and you cannot catch it from contact with another. Psoriasis is typically developed because of a genetic predisposition to the disease.
How do I know if I have psoriasis?
There are no medical tests that can be performed to determine whether or not you have psoriasis. Usually, your physician will examine the lesion(s) on your skin and let you know if he or she thinks it is psoriasis. Sometimes, a biopsy will be performed, and the piece of skin will be examined underneath a microscope to look at the skin cells.
Is there are cure for psoriasis?
No cure has been developed yet, but there are several treatment options that a patient can undergo. Some of the treatments are systemic, which means a pill or liquid that is ingested, while others are topical, which are creams and lotions that are placed on the skin. These treatments can help control the psoriasis for periods of time, but it will not indefinitely cure the disease.
Where are psoriasis lesions found?
Technically, psoriasis lesions can be found anywhere on the body, though most are found on the knees, elbows, scalp and torso. Studies show that most psoriasis occurs on both sides of the body in the same place (such as on both elbows).
What age patients are likely to get psoriasis?
Most people first develop psoriasis between the ages of 15 and 30, though earlier and later outbreaks can happen. Some infants have psoriasis, and in very few cases, the elderly will develop it for the first time in their seventies and eighties.
What is considered a severe case of psoriasis?
Any psoriasis that affects more than 10% of the entire skin is considered a severe case. Most people develop psoriasis on less than 5% of their skin, though some people have been known to get psoriasis over more than 20% of their skin. Psoriasis is also considered more severe if it affects certain portions of the body, such as the face, the palms or the soles of the feet.
How will psoriasis affect my life?
This depends on how severe the psoriasis is and how often it occurs. Some social interaction may be inhibited, as well as certain lines of work. It is important to see a doctor and continue trying medications until you find one that works for you.