To put it simply, Psoriasis is a chronic disorder that results in red, thickened patches on the skin with shedding of silvery scales. The condition may be accompanied with discomfort and/or pain.
Skin cells normally have a life cycle of about 28 days each - which means that each of these cells is shed off and another comes up in place every 28 days. Now imagine if the cells start growing very rapidly without waiting for the earlier ones to shed out. It would lead to a build up of a thick layer of cells leading to the thickening of the skin in the affected area. This results in red patches with scaling.
Psoriasis can vary in intensity from mild cases with only nuisance-value to some extremely debilitating cases. The disease can also progress to affect other areas of the body such as nails, joints, scalp, etc. A tendency to come and go periodically is commonly seen in many cases – there are phases of worsening of the symptoms (relapse) and periods when the condition spontaneously resolves (remission).
Almost 2-3 % of the general population is affected by Psoriasis and it is increasingly becoming more and more common. The incidence is higher amongst young adults though it can strike at any age. No gender predilection is seen in the cases largely.
In addition to all this, it’s very important to bear in mind that Psoriasis is not infectious – it cannot be passed from person to another through physical contact.