Psoriasis is a common skin condition found in about 3% of the population of the United States. The condition we call Psoriasis is simply the visible results when the normal process of skin cell replacement is greatly speeded up. Normally skin cells take from 21 to 28 days to renew themselves, with Psoriasis this process is greatly accelerated, the process taking only 2 to 6 days. Recent research suggests that when a person is suffering from an illness or stress, certain immune cells can become overactive causing the body to produce anti inflammatory chemicals in response, in much the same way as it would if dealing with a wound. This overproduction of skin cells then accumulate on the surface of the skin in the form of Psoriatic Plaque. Psoriasis appears on the skin in the form of raised red patches with a well defined edge, usually covered with light colored scales. These light colored scales are the dead plaque cells which are waiting to flake off, the red appearance being as a result of the increased number of blood vessels required to support the increase in skin cell production.
Although Psoriasis is not contagious it is at present hard to cure. Any treatments you will find will be aiming to lessen the effects rather than cure but having said that some of these can be highly effective. Psoriasis can affect people of all ages and both sexes equally. Around 30% of sufferers have a family history of Psoriasis but other factors such as stress, illness and diet are also important factors. With regular attention and treatment, most commonly in the form of emollient creams which keep the affected area moisturized, the vast majority of Psoriasis sufferers are able to effectively control their condition and lead a normal life.