Could I have psoriasis?

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People who have psoriasis often have areas of thick skin covered with scale, and the affected skin can be itchy or painful.

It’s possible you could have psoriasis (suh-rye-uh-sis). It’s is a common condition. In the United States, more than 7.5 million people have it.

People of all races get psoriasis. It is most common in people of European ancestry who have white skin. In the United States, about 2% of African Americans and more than 1% of Hispanics have psoriasis.

Basic facts about psoriasis

Psoriasis turns the skin red, scaly, and thick. This happens because skin cells grow so quickly that they pile up before the body can shed them.

The most common type of psoriasis is plaque (pronounced plack) psoriasis. It causes:

  • Dry, raised patches
  • Scale on the patches, which flakes off like dandruff
  • Inflamed skin beneath the patches
  • Cracked and bleeding skin

Psoriasis is often itchy. You may also feel pain, stinging, burning, or skin tightness.

Though there is no cure for psoriasis, getting treatment from a dermatologist and making some lifestyle changes can help you control psoriasis and feel better.


Explore the Psoriasis Resource Center



References
Alexis AF, Blackcloud P. “Psoriasis in skin of color: epidemiology, genetics, clinical presentation, and treatment nuances.” J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(11):16-24.

Bhushan R, Lebwohl MG, et al. “Translating psoriasis guidelines into practice: Important gaps revealed.” J Am Acad Dermato. Published online: January 14, 2016.