What Is Psoriasis? Here's What You Need to Know

Sergey Filimonov/Stocksy

Skin conditions rarely receive the same degree of attention that other types of medical conditions do, and for those who struggle with psoriasis, this frustrating skin disorder can directly affect day-to-day life. Whether it's a constant source of embarrassment or a recurring cause of physical irritation, psoriasis can fall anywhere on the spectrum from mild to severe, and it's important to take a look at causes and possible treatments. But what is psoriasis? Here's a simple, straightforward introduction to what you need to know.

What It Is

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis is “one of the most baffling and persistent of skin disorders.” Simply put, psoriasis is a condition in which skin cells multiply far more quickly than they should (even up to 10 times faster than normal rates). The resulting buildup of skin cells during this process of rapid turnover creates red patches of skin referred to as “plaques” covered with rough, white skin tissue known as “scales”.

How to Treat It

There are a number of medical treatments for psoriasis, including both oral medication and topical treatments. Those who prefer a more natural approach can find relief in remediesВ like aloe vera, sea salt soaks, and even capsaicin cream derived from cayenne peppers. Once you know what psoriasis is and suspect you might have it, consider scheduling a visit with your doctor.