Psoriasis is a common skin disorder affecting about 1 in 40 persons. In the United States more than 4 million people have psoriasis.
The cause of psoriasis is not known. Many persons with psoriasis have blood relatives with this disorder, so heredity plays a role.
In psoriasis, areas of the skin grow much faster than normal and form red, scaling patches. The scalp, elbows, and knees are the most common sites, but almost any part of the skin may become involved. Fortunately, psoriasis is usually confined to the skin and does not affect your general health. (In rare cases it may be associated with arthritis). It is not contagious.
Psoriasis usually begins in young adulthood, although it can start in childhood or first appear in old age. In most cases, psoriasis is mild and is limited to few areas of the body. In a small percentage of cases, large areas of the body may become involved.
Psoriasis is unpredictable: Patches may clear up by themselves and even disappear for months or years.
You will be given individualized instructions for treatment of your specific type of psoriasis.
Treatment is temporarily effective, and may need to be continued for quite a while.
You will find it reassuring to know that:
Diet does not affect psoriasis
Psoriasis will not cause your hair to fall out
Psoriasis is not cause by nerves, although it can certainly be aggravated by nerves or stress.
Remember that although psoriasis can be very bothersome and frustrating, in almost every case, appropriate treatment results in improvement and assures that you can lead a full, active life.