Psoriasis is a fairly common skin condition in which the individual affected develops thick, red, bumpy patches covered in silvery scales. This skin disorder cannot be passed from one individual to another, notes WebMD.
Although anyone can get psoriasis, regardless of age or gender, it often affects adults, states the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The skin condition affects various body parts, including the elbows, lower back, face, palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
Psoriasis begins in the immune system when the T cells become active by mistake. These cells protect the body from infections and certain diseases. Individuals with this condition may sometimes get better but experience an increase in symptoms at other times. Some of the main triggers for psoriasis include infections, certain medications, surgery, injury, stress and change in weather patterns.
Doctors often diagnose psoriasis by taking a small skin sample and examining it under a microscope. The patient's medical history and symptoms also help in diagnosis. Treatment usually depends on the type of psoriasis in question, the patient's reaction to certain medications, and the size of the patches.
Treatment may involve the use of skin ointments and creams, which often help soothe the skin, suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. Treatment of severe cases involves drug injections, administered by a doctor.