Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. It is not contagious, but it can cause great discomfort. Symptoms include red scaly patches on the skin, itchiness and flaking of the skin. It can also affect the nails and may be associated with arthritis. Psoriasis is not currently curable but can be well controlled with medication.

A number of genes that are related to psoriasis have been identified recently, and people affected may have close family members who have psoriasis. There are other environmental causes or triggers that can worsen psoriasis in susceptible people, including:

  • Smoking
  • Infections – such as tonsillitis
  • Medications – such as lithium, beta blockers, antimalarial and anti-inflammatory medication
  • Skin Injury

There a several types of skin psoriasis, including:

  • Plaque psoriasis – the most common form
  • Pustular psoriasis – a more severe form of psoriasis that can be painful
  • Guttate psoriasis – found mostly in children and your adults, often resolves after a few months
  • Flexural psoriasis – affects body folds and genital areas
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