Featured Video: Psoriatic Disorders Awareness

Psoriatic Disorders: Skin Rash Psoriasis · Psoriatic Arthritis

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Source: National Psoriasis Foundation (Psoriasis.org)

Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin.

While scientists do not know what exactly causes psoriasis, we do know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development. Usually, something triggers psoriasis to flare. The skin cells in people with psoriasis grow at an abnormally fast rate, which causes the buildup of psoriasis lesions.

According to current studies, more than 8 million Americans have psoriasis, with men and women developing it at equal rates. About 1.9 percent of African-Americans have psoriasis, compared to 3.6 percent of Caucasians. Psoriasis can develop at any age, but most often develops between the ages of 15 and 35, with about 13 percent of those with developing psoriasis before the age 10.

Psoriasis is not contagious — it is not something you can “catch” or that others can catch from you. Psoriasis lesions are not infectious.

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) an inflammatory form of arthritis, affects about 30 percent of people with psoriasis. It is a chronic disease of the joints and the places where tendons and ligaments connect to bone. The immune system creates inflammation that can lead to swelling, pain, fatigue and joint stiffness.

PsA can start at any age, but often appears between ages 30 and 50. For most people, it starts about 10 years after psoriasis begins. While it is less common, people can develop psoriatic arthritis without having psoriasis.

Though there is no cure, there are a growing range of treatments available to help stop the disease progression, lessen pain, protect joints and preserve range of motion. Left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can cause permanent joint damage.

Early recognition, diagnosis and treatment of psoriatic arthritis are critical to relieve pain and inflammation and help prevent joint damage. For people who have or suspect they may have psoriatic arthritis, it is extremely important to work with a rheumatologist (arthritis doctor) to find the right treatment plan.

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