What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition caused by an imbalance in the immune system. The skin cells begin to reproduce too quickly and the rate that a normal cell takes to mature and fall off the skin changes decreases dramatically. The accelerated rate of skin turnover caused cells to accumulate and form scaly mounds on the skin. The skin also becomes very red due to increased blood flow.

Who gets psoriasis?
As many as 7.5 million people in the U.S. are affected by psoriasis.  Normally, psoriasis first appears between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can appear at any time. About one-third of people who develop psoriasis are below 20 years of age. It affects both females and males of all ages, genders and ethnicities.

Is psoriasis contagious?
No, psoriasis is not contagious.

How can psoriasis affect one’s life?
People may have very strong emotional reactions to having psoriasis, such as embarrassment, anger or sadness. Sometimes people with psoriasis are made fun of or avoided by others because of their psoriasis. Educating others on the nature of psoriasis is helpful. Psoriasis is a medical condition that should be treated.

Is there a cure?
There is currently no cure for psoriasis. However, there are many treatment options to help control psoriasis. Psoriasis does not have to take over your life.


The cause of psoriasis is unknown. There is a genetic component because psoriasis tends to run in families. There is also an immune component to psoriasis, but no one knows what triggers this immune component to cause psoriasis to appear. Immune cells stimulate the skin to cycle extremely fast, which results in flaky mounds of skin.


Psoriasis Diagram

Psoriasis Diagram



Over-the-Counter medication:
Moisturizers, Tar Shampoos
Monthly Cost- $20-$50

Prescription Creams/Ointments/Solutions/Sprays:
Topical steroids, Calcipotriene, Retinoids
Monthly Cost- $200-$300

UVA, UVB, Narrow-band UVB, Excimer laser
Monthly Cost- $1000-$1500

Prescription Oral Medications:
Acetretin, Methotrexate, Cyclosporine-
Monthly Cost- $100-$800

Prescription Biologics:
Enbrel, Humira, Stellara, Remicade
Monthly Cost- $3000-$4000

National Psoriasis Foundation:

American Academy of Dermatology:

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