This video clip forms part of a related video series of 6 videos on Understanding Psoriasis.
This is the 5th video in the series.
Of people with psoriasis, 11 to 40 percent also develop arthritis, typically between the ages of 20 and 50. Called psoriatic arthritis, this condition causes joint stiffness in the morning, along with inflammation and pain in the fingers and spine. Pink scales also appear on the knees, elbows, lower back, and chest. If the condition is left untreated, it can cause permanent damage to the joints. A recent study indicated that people with severe cases of psoriasis are more likely to develop other serious complications, including depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and immune-related conditions, such as Crohn's disease.
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.