Psoriasis

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What is psoriasis?
Watch this video as dermatologist David M. Pariser, MD, FAAD, explains why we get psoriasis and the benefits of treatment.

To watch the entire video, which includes inspiring tips from Jerry Mathers, who lives with psoriasis and is best known as the Beaver in the TV show "Leave it to Beaver," visit the Psoriasis video library.


Psoriasis (sore-EYE-ah-sis) is a chronic (long-lasting) disease. It develops when a person’s immune system sends faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly. New skin cells form in days rather than weeks.

The body does not shed these excess skin cells. The skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear.
Psoriasis may look contagious, but it's not.

You cannot get psoriasis from touching someone who has it. To get psoriasis, a person must inherit the genes that cause it.

Types of psoriasis

If you have psoriasis, you will have one or more of these types:

  • Plaque (also called psoriasis vulgaris).
  • Guttate.
  • Inverse (also called flexural psoriasis or intertriginous psoriasis).
  • Pustular.
  • Erythrodermic (also called exfoliative psoriasis).

Some people get more than one type. Sometimes a person gets one type of psoriasis, and then the type of psoriasis changes.

Learn more about psoriasis:

Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology.
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