What is Psoriasis
Psoriasis is caused by an overproduction of skin cells. It can affect all areas of the body, but is most commonly found on the elbows, knees and scalp. Symptoms include raised silvery patches of skin which have distinct red edges. It does not scar the skin but can sometimes cause a temporary increase or reduction in skin colour.
It is thought that psoriasis involves an immune response, possibly caused by both genetic and environmental triggers.
The outer layer of skin (the epidermis) contains skin cells which are continuously being shed at the surface and replaced by new cells produced from beneath. This renewal process normally takes between 3 and 4 weeks. In psoriasis, new cells are produced and shed in as little as 3 to 4 days.
Psoriasis affects around 2% of people in the U.K. It can start at any age, but most often develops in adults under 35 years old. It affects men and women equally.
Psoriasis is a long-lasting (chronic) condition. It usually involves periods of mild or even no symptoms at all, interspersed with periods where the symptoms are more severe.
Unfortunately, there’s no known lasting cure for psoriasis, but it can be managed effectively by regular emollient use (to reduce itching and scaling), and by using a non-foaming, soap-free hand cleanser whenever possible. This will help improve your skin’s natural barrier and help keep your symptoms under control.
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