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Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease in which areas of the skin grow much faster than normal. The affected areas become inflamed and produce red, thickened areas with silver scales. It is most commonly found on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back. Psoriasis can also affect the nails, causing them to thicken or become loose. A condition called inverse psoriasis affects areas such as the armpit, under the breast, around the groin, buttocks and genitals. This disease cannot be passed from person to person.
The cause of psoriasis is unknown. There is some indication that the underlying factor may have to do with an abnormality in function of key white blood cells causing inflammation of the skin.
In some cases it is activated by certain medications, stress and infections. It often becomes more pronounced in the wintertime as a result of dry skin.
The methods of treating this condition vary, depending on the severity of the disease as well as the age and health of the patient. The goal of treatment for this disease is to reduce inflammation, slow rapid cell growth, and control itching. Some common treatment approaches include: