Psoriasis is a non-contagious and common skin disorder that causes rapid skin cell reproduction that in turn creates dry, thick patches of skin. The skin scales and dry flakes result from the continual building of skin cells.
Over seven million Americans of all ages have some form of psoriasis and can affect any part of the body. Most frequently affected are the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet and genitals. Most forms involve an itching and/or burning sensation, scaling and crusting of the skin.
Psoriasis cannot be cured but usually can be controlled. Treatment depends on the type, severity and location of psoriasis; the patient’s age, medical history and lifestyle; and the effect the disease has on the patient’s general mental health. The most common treatments are topical medications, phototherapy, and for more difficult cases, oral or injectable medication may be required.