Psoriasis is a chronic condition that occurs when skin cells grow much faster than normal — typically in several days rather than a few weeks — resulting in a buildup of cells that form scaly reddish or pinkish patches called plaques. Psoriasis isn’t contagious and it’s not due to issues with personal hygiene.
So far, researchers don’t know the cause of psoriasis, but believe it occurs as a result of an immune system reaction that causes skin to become inflamed. Many researchers also believe there's a genetic component in psoriasis, which means if you have family members with the disease, you're more likely to develop it yourself.
There are different types of psoriasis, and each type causes different symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Psoriasis symptoms tend to occur on both sides of the body, most frequently affecting the knees and elbows.
Currently, there’s no cure for psoriasis, and any specific treatment depends on the type of psoriasis you're experiencing. Topical and oral medications may help relieve many of the most aggravating symptoms, including itching, scaling, and redness. Before starting any treatment, Dr. Harris conducts a thorough exam and evaluation to ensure the symptoms you're experiencing aren't due to other factors, such as medication you may be taking. In some cases, phototherapy treatment helps to expose the skin to measured amounts of ultraviolet light. Dr. Harris prescribes the following biologics:
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