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Psoriasis

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. In some people it also affects the joints. The prevalence of psoriasis in Western populations is estimated to be around 2-3%. It affects both sexes equally and occurs at all ages.
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.
Men and women develop psoriasis at equal rates. Psoriasis also occurs in all racial groups, but at varying rates. About 1.9 percent of African-Americans have psoriasis, compared to 3.6 percent of Caucasians.

Psoriasis often develops between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age. About 10 to 15 percent of those with psoriasis get it before age 10. Some infants have psoriasis, although this is considered rare. Psoriasis is not contagious. It is not something you can “catch” or that others can catch from you. Psoriasis lesions are not infectious.
It typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear on any location. Some people report that psoriasis is itchy, burns and stings. Psoriasis is associated with other serious skin conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.

If you develop a rash that doesn’t go away with an over-the-counter medication, you should consider contacting your dermatologist.