Psoriasis is a recurrent skin disorder. It is varcharacterized by fluctuations in the appearance of scaly, red patches of skin. The areas most commonly affected include the skin of the scalp, elbows, knees, chest, back, arms, legs and fold between the buttocks. Frequently, abnormalities of the nail may also occur. About 10% of people that develop Psoriasis will eventually develop arthritis. Psoriasis typically has an onset in late childhood or young adulthood and continues throughout life. It is most common in white-skinned people.
Causes of Psoriasis
The cause is unknown. The disease develops from a genetic predisposition that speeds up the life cycle of the skin cells. It may be an autoimmune disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis
Psoriasis produces dry, red patches of skin. They often have silvery scales. The underlying skin may crack and become painful. The patches are most commonly found on the elbows, knees, trunk and scalp. Frequently, the nails become involved, forming pits and ridges on the nail's surface. Pain and swelling of the joints may occur. These may affect the joints of the fingers, the extremities or the back.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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