This video clip forms part of a related video series of 6 videos on Understanding Psoriasis.
This is the 1st video in the series.
Anyone can get psoriasis, but it occurs more often in adults. In many cases, there is a family history of psoriasis. Certain genes have been linked to the disease. Men and women get psoriasis at about the same rate and it affects more than 3 percent of the United States population, or more than 5 million adults. Psoriasis can be hard to diagnose because it can look like other skin diseases. The doctor might need to look at a small skin sample under a microscope. Psoriasis is definitely not contagious and is most certainly not caused by poor hygiene.
Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes scaling and inflammation. Skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface. This process is called cell turnover, and it takes about a month. With psoriasis, it can happen in just a few days because the cells rise too fast and pile up on the surface. Most psoriasis results in patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales that can itch or feel sore. They are often found on the elbows, knees, other parts of the legs, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet.