Psoriasis (sore-EYE-ah-sis) is a chronic disease. It develops when a person’s immune system sends faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly. New skin cells form in days rather than weeks.

The body does not shed these excess skin cells. They pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear. Psoriasis may look contagious, but it's not.

You cannot get psoriasis from touching someone who has it. To get psoriasis, a person must inherit the genes that cause it. Psoriasis appears as a chronic skin condition that causes thick patches of silvery skin is due to rapid growth of skin cells. These thick patches are called plaques.


Psoriasis occurs when the immune system overreacts and inflammation as well as skin flaking occurs. It is a genetic disorder that is often brought on by a variety of factors such as stress, weather, diet, or infection.

Types of psoriasis

If you have psoriasis, you will have one or more of these types:

  • Plaque (also called psoriasis vulgaris).
  • Guttate
  • Inverse (also called flexural psoriasis or intertriginous psoriasis).
  • Pustular
  • Erythrodermic (also called exfoliative psoriasis).

Some people get more than one type of psoriasis. Sometimes a person gets one type, and then the type of psoriasis changes.

Common Treatment Options

Psoriasis is a chronic disorder, meaning there is no cure. However, modern medication advancements have made treating the disease much more effective. Often, if your psoriasis has not advanced to a moderate level, your provider may recommend steroidal creams and ointments to try to abate the smaller patches. If your psoriasis does not respond to this treatment, or if it has progressed beyond a moderate level, your provider may prescribe a medication. This medication may be effective for a time, but after a while, you may be required to use injections to best manage the symptoms and signs of the disease. These injections are rarely painful and have been proven very effective in comparison to other methods of treatment.

Additional treatment options may include ultraviolet therapy, diet modifications, exercise routines, de-stressing activities, and homeopathic treatment options.