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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a long-term inflammatory skin condition characterized by patches of red skin that are covered with thick, white plaques. Usually the knees, elbows, lower back and scalp are affected. The patches are often itchy and can become painful, especially if scratched.
What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune system mistakenly attacks normal skin cells, causing psoriasis. It is usually an inherited condition, although in rare cases it can occur with no family history of the disease.
What are the triggers for psoriasis?
Triggers for psoriasis differ from person to person, but can include trauma, stress, sunburn, a reaction to certain drugs, or an infection.
How is psoriasis diagnosed?
A doctor can usually diagnose psoriasis by looking at the skin and conducting a physical examination. The most common form, plaque psoriasis, causes silvery, scaly patches on the knees and elbows, with reddened skin underneath them.
How is psoriasis treated?
Treatment for psoriasis will depend on how severe it is and where on the body it is found. In mild cases, creams and ointments can be effective. In moderate cases, light therapy and topical medications may be used. In severe cases where the condition is widespread …
How can I prevent psoriasis?
The exact cause of psoriasis is unclear. Therefore, it is difficult to know how to prevent this condition.
Are there any dietary recommendations for people with psoriasis?
No particular foods have been linked to the development of psoriasis. However, in the case of long-term disease, a doctor may recommend a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Avoiding alcohol may also …
About this article
Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Votes: 743 (Click smiley face below left to rate)