What is Psoriasis?

A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Psoriasis is a genetic, autoimmune condition that causes immature skin cells to reproduce at a greatly increased pace (about every 4 days instead of the normal 28 day cycle).  Because this skin is immature and reproducing so rapidly, it piles up on the skin, causing itchy, scaley areas on the skin.   These patches are thick, and can easily crack and bleed. 

Psoriasis can cause an alarming array of secondary diseases, called comorbidities.  These diseases include Psoriatic Arthritis, cardiovascular, lung, liver and kidney disease.  Additionally, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease, Osteoporosis, Metabolic Syndrome, obesity and sleep problems (apnea, insomnia) occur more frequently than in the general population.  Frighteningly, Psoriasis can cause an increased chance of contracting Lymphoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.  The leading cause of death for Psoriatics is cardiovascular disease. 

If you, or someone you know has Psoriasis, it is very important to be under the care of a Dermatologist with experience treating Psoriasis.  Contact the National Psoriasis Foundation at psoriasis.org to find a Dermatologist who belongs to the NPF.