Psoriasis is a red, scaly, skin condition that generally appears in teens and adults, although children may sometimes be affected by it. Many cases of psoriasis are familial. Psoriasis is believed to develop when a person’s immune system sends faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly. The body does not shed these excess skin cells and they pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear.

Psoriasis may be triggered by infection or incited by certain medications. It may 
be mild, moderate, or severe. A small percentage of people may also develop psoriatic arthritis. Although there is no cure for psoriasis, many therapies exist. 
The most common treatments are topical medications and phototherapy. Excimer Laser may be helpful for hard-to-treat, localized areas. Oral or injectable medications are reserved for more severe cases.

The treatment of psoriasis and its associated arthritis is an active area of research within dermatology and new therapies are on the clinical horizon.

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Photo used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology