Psoriasis is among the common chronic skin conditions that are marked by inflammation and scaly patches, which are red and raised. In addition, these scaly patches are flaking and shed silver scales. Psoriasis may appear in many different forms and its symptoms may vary from being mild to very harsh.

The lesions of psoriasis may be very painful and itchy as well and they may also differ in size. As the plaques of this skin condition comprise dry, peeling inflamed skin, it is possible that the affected skin will crack and also bleed. The psoriasis lesions may occur anywhere on the patient's body, but the elbows, chest, lower back, knees and scalp are among the most common places where they may appear. In fact, the plaques have a propensity to emerge in the same site on both sides of the patient's body.

Similar to most other skin conditions, even psoriasis may appear at any age. However, this particular skin condition is more prevalent among adults. Guttate psoriasis is one type of this skin condition which has a propensity to occur during childhood as well as the beginning of adulthood. Both men and women are equally afflicted by psoriasis. It is also common among people of all races. One main reason for developing psoriasis is family history of this painful skin condition. In recent times, findings of a number of studies undertaken to ascertain the reasons behind the disease as well as to find cures to the condition have shown that some genes are involved in the occurrence of the disease.

This skin condition affects males as well as females in roughly the same rate. While the disease can be cured for a while, it is almost certain to recur throughout a patient's life. In fact, psoriasis is not a contagious condition, but people suffering from this condition may feel very uncomfortable and experience itching, pain as well as emotional anguish.

While researchers as well as physicians are yet to ascertain the precise reasons for an individual developing this chronic skin condition, many experts are of the belief that psoriasis may occur owing to malfunctioning of one's immune system as well as the resulting production of inflammation. In fact, when the white blood cells or the T cells in our immune system are invigorated it results in inflammation. Subsequently, such inflammation encourages the skin cells to go up to the surface of the skin and flake at an unusually rapid pace. When a person is afflicted by psoriasis, his/ her skin cells start shedding once in every three to four days. On the contrary, the skin cells of a healthy individual shed once in 30 days.

If you have developed psoriasis, chances are that you will find your knees, torso, scalp and knees affected by this chronic skin condition. However, the disease is unlikely to remain confined to these body areas only, as one's nails, and the skin on his/ her hands, buttocks, genitals, feet and very rarely the face may also be affected. People who have developed psoriasis will possibly notice that this skin condition has a tendency to wax as well as wane.

While the exact risk factors of psoriasis are yet to be ascertained, it has been found that a variety of things may cause the condition to deteriorate. However, these aspects may differ from one patient to another. Surprisingly enough, the thing that may make one patient's psoriasis worse may actually not have any effect on another patient at all. Such triggers may comprise skin injuries, emotional strain, infections, diet, and reactions to various drugs. Sometimes even the weather conditions and allergies may also cause one's psoriasis to worsen.

While psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that recurs throughout a patient's life, these days several treatments are available that help to keep the disease effectively under control (see Elma products). This condition has the aptitude to afflict the joints, nails as well as the entire skin surface. Nearly 50 percent people suffering from psoriasis actually have developed the condition in their nails. It has been observed that about one in three people suffering from mild cases to severe psoriasis are very likely to develop psoriatic arthritis at some time or the other during their life. This condition, psoriatic arthritis, actually causes swelling and rigidity at the joints. Alternatively, it may also be responsible for stiffness in the lumber or lower back region. Such people are advised to check with a rheumatologist who will be closely working with their dermatologist or their general practitioners.

Moreover, it has been found that people suffering from psoriasis, especially mild to harsh cases of the skin condition, generally also face augmented risks of depression as well as anxiety. Similarly, people with moderate to acute psoriasis also face an augmented risk of heart disease and stroke. However, effective treatment of psoriasis will largely help to decrease these associated risks. Occasionally, psoriasis can also be related to enhanced risks of detrimental use of alcohol. This chronic skin condition has also been found to be associated with obesity as well as diabetes.

Different types of psoriasis

Psoriasis may occur in various forms. Some of the common types of this chronic skin disease include psoriasis vulgaris (common plaque type), inverse psoriasis (this type occurs in folds such as groin, underarms, buttocks and navel), guttate psoriasis (tiny spots akin to drops), and pustular psoriasis (these are yellowish blisters filled with pus).

When psoriasis afflicts the palms and soles, the type of the disease is called palmoplantar psoriasis. On the other hand, when one suffers from erythrodermic psoriasis, the entire surface of their skin is afflicted by this chronic skin condition. People suffering from the last mentioned type of psoriasis usually feel cold and are also likely to suffer from congestive heart failure provided they had been suffering from a heart problem from before. When one develops nail psoriasis, they will have yellow pitted nails, which can easily be mistaken for nail fungus. Scalp psoriasis, on the other hand, can turn out to be quite severe resulting in hair losses in the affected areas. At the same time, the patient will experience excessive dandruff and even suffer from severe itching.