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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Psoriasis


Psoriasis:  Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects the life cycle of skin cells.  Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, forming thick silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful. These patches normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back but can appear anywhere on your body. Most people are only affected in small patches. In some cases, the patches can be itchy or sore.

Psoriasis is a persistent, long-lasting (chronic) disease. You may have periods when your psoriasis symptoms improve or go into remission alternating with times your psoriasis worsens.

Psoriasis occurs when the process by which the body produces skin cells is accelerated. Skin cells are normally made and replaced every three to four weeks, but in psoriasis this process only lasts about three to seven days. The resulting build-up of skin cells is what creates the patches associated with psoriasis.

As psoriasis can run in families, there is also thought to be a genetic element to psoriasis. However, the exact role that genetics plays in causing psoriasis is unclear. Many people's psoriasis symptoms start or become worse because of a certain event, known as a trigger. Possible triggers of psoriasis include an injury to your skin, throat infections and using certain medicines.

The severity of psoriasis varies greatly from person to person. For some people, it is just a minor irritation, for others it has a major impact on their quality of life. Psoriasis is not contagious so it cannot be spread from person to person.

You should see your doctor if you think you may have psoriasis. They can often diagnose the condition based on the appearance of your skin.


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies
    


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