Psoriasis is a condition that causes the body to make new skin cells in days rather than weeks. In plaque psoriasis, the most common type, this results in thick, scaly, silvery-white patches on the skin. These patches, called plaques, are most often found on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp and tend to be itchy.

Psoriasis occurs when the immune system’s T-cells, which respond to and attack bacteria or viruses, also attack skin cells. This attack prompts the body to make new skin cells, which is what you see piling up on the skin.

Genes are a factor, which is why psoriasis tends to run in families. The state of a person’s immune system is another factor. Psoriasis can be triggered by stress, a skin injury, an infection, heavy drinking, tobacco use, weather and some medications.

At-home treatments for treating mild psoriasis include hydrocortisone, which reduces the itch and decreases inflammation, and use of a daily moisturizing cream or ointment to help your skin heal.

Psoriasis is a life-long condition, and there is no cure. However, your Surgical Dermatology Group provider can customize a treatment plan to help clear your skin and reduce flares. Treatments include topical and oral medications and phototherapy.

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