Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects approximately 7.5 million Americans, showing up on the skin as red, scaly patches that itch, crack and bleed. Here are five things to know about psoriasis:
1. The cause is essentially unknown, but it’s thought to result from abnormally fast-growing and shedding skin cells.
2. Although not contagious, it can be passed on through genetics.
3. Psoriasis can be associated with arthritis, another autoimmune disease.
4. Several types of psoriasis exist: nail, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic.
5. Sunlight and UV light are effective treatments, along with ointments and medications.
– Cindy Peterson, executive director, Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center