Psoriasis is a common skin condition that changes the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form thick, silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful.
Psoriasis is a persistent, long-lasting (chronic) disease. There may be times when your psoriasis symptoms get better alternating with times your psoriasis worsens.
The primary goal of treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly. While there isn't a cure, psoriasis treatments may offer significant relief. Lifestyle measures, such as using a nonprescription cortisone cream and exposing your skin to small amounts of natural sunlight, also may improve your psoriasis symptoms.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease of your immune system that causes cells to build up on the surface of your skin, leading to thick, red, scaly patches that are very itchy and sometimes painful. Up to 7.5 million Americans suffer from the disease, which has a surprisingly significant economic impact as well.
A new study in JAMA Dermatology reported that direct US healthcare costs related to psoriasis may be up to $63 billion a year. There were also indirect costs (such as loss of work hours) of up to $35 billion and another $35 billion in costs related to associated health problems, like heart disease and depression.
Psoriasis Is More Than a Superficial Skin Condition
Although psoriasis appears as a skin condition, it is actually an autoimmune disease. Part of the reaction occurs when a type of white blood cell called a T cell mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells.
These overactive T cells then trigger …
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects about 3 percent of the population; its most obvious manifestation is thick red or scaly skin patches, caused by skin cells dividing too fast. About 10 to 20 percent of people also get an inflammatory type of arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's a chronic disease, and there's no medication that cures it. Treatments range from over-the-counter skin moisturizers to try to tame the cracking and scaling to ultraviolet light therapy, traditional systemic drugs like methotrexate, and newer biologic drugs that target parts of the immune system.
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