This condition is a common skin disease that can cause dry, itchy, painful patches of skin. Psoriasis is a chronic condition.


Psoriasis is caused by a malfunction in part of the immune system. This malfunction results in the immune system attacking healthy skin cells. The skin responds with an overproduction of replacement skin cells. These cells grow rapidly beneath the skin and then rise to the skin's surface. They build up to form scaly patches on the skin.


Psoriasis can be triggered by infections, stress, cold and dry weather, and changes in climate or environment. It can also be triggered by alcoholic beverages, skin irritation from allergies or scratches, and some medications.


The main symptom of psoriasis is red patches of dry, itchy skin, usually covered by flaky white or silver scales. These patches may be small, or they may cover large areas of the body. They may be painful, and they may crack and bleed. A person with psoriasis may also have rough fingernails. The symptoms of psoriasis may come and go throughout a person's life.

Psoriatic Arthritis

If a person who has psoriasis also experiences joint pain, stiffness and swelling, these may be signs of psoriatic arthritis, a form of debilitating arthritis that can develop gradually over time.


Some treatment options for psoriasis include medicated lotions, ointments, soaps, and shampoos. Moisturizers may prevent the skin from flaking. A person who has psoriasis may benefit from avoiding strong or irritating cosmetics and soaps. Psoriasis may also be treated with light therapy, which may include exposure to sunlight. In severe cases, a physician may prescribe medication. In cases of severe psoriatic arthritis, surgery may be needed to repair or replace a damaged joint.