is a chronic but treatable autoimmune skin disease experienced by an
estimated 7 million Americans and about 80 million people around the world.
Psoriasis is a non-contagious skin disease that comes in different forms and varying
levels of severity. Psoriasis is usually a mild condition, and there are many
treatments available to help manage its symptoms. Psoriatic arthritis is a form
of joint disease that is similar to rheumatoid arthritis.
Millions of people around the world have psoriasis, a chronic disease characterized by red, thickened patches of skin covered by scales or flakes. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that results when the body's immune system attacks its own tissue.
While psoriasis is not typically life threatening, it can greatly affect your appearance, self-esteem and overall quality of life. It can develop anywhere on the skin, though it usually appears on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso. It also may affect the nails and joints.
Many people with psoriasis develop it in their 20s, but the disease can occur at any age, even childhood. It is equally common in men and women, and tends to run in families. Treatments for psoriasis include the use of skin creams, light therapy, and systemic therapies (pills or injections).
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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12