Psoriatic Disease Awareness: Nat’l. Psoriasis Foundation · Psoriasis Speaks · American Academy of Dermatologists · New Jersey Specialists · Donate
Source: Psoriasis Speaks
Inflammation is the body’s natural defense system. In normal amounts, it helps your body heal. But too much and your body starts to attack healthy cells.
Many people think of psoriasis as just a skin condition, because that’s where you see and feel the symptoms. In fact, 1 out of 3 people with psoriasis will also experience joint symptoms, which is referred to as psoriatic arthritis.
It takes most people with healthy skin about a month for their bodies to produce new skin cells and shed old ones. But when you have psoriasis, your body’s skin cells go through an accelerated cycle. That’s because people with psoriasis have an overactive immune system, which causes excess inflammation.
The exact cause of psoriasis is still unknown. However, we do know that inflammation inside the body may cause the symptoms of psoriasis—including the itchy, red plaques you see on the skin. This inflammation forces your body to produce new skin cells at a much faster rate—about a 4-to-5 day cycle. That’s roughly seven times faster than normal. Skin cells rapidly pile up and get pushed to the surface, as your body is unable to shed them quickly enough.
While there’s no cure for psoriasis, science has come a long way in giving you options to treat it. Here’s more good news: the more you learn about psoriasis, the better prepared you’ll be to talk to a dermatologist about managing and treating it.