Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition.  It commonly appears as red elevated patches and flaking silvery scales, but it can take on other forms and appearances, and can range from mild to severe.  The lesions can be painful, itchy, and may vary in size.  The skin may also crack and bleed from the dry, flaky patches.  Lesions can appear anywhere on the body, and the most common sites include the elbows, knees, scalp, chest, and lower back.  Plaques tend to appear in the same place on both sides of the body.  

The exact cause of psoriasis is not known, but it is believed by experts to involve a malfunctioning of the white blood cells in the immune system, and a consequent production of inflammation.  Psoriasis can be permanent, or it may flare up, then subside, or even disappear altogether for awhile before another flare-up occurs.  Some factors which may trigger a flare-up are:

Psoriasis can develop at any age, but it is commonly seen in adults.  Having a family history of psoriasis is a leading risk factor.

Different types of psoriasis include:

Treatment options will vary based on the type and severity of the disease, how large or widespread plaques are, and how well a patient responds to a given treatment.  A physician may choose to combine two or more treatments for the best outcome.  Some forms of treatments are:

If you are having trouble with psoriasis, talk to your doctor about treatment options.  You can also learn more about psoriasis by clicking the links below.

Information has been referenced from the following source: 1