- thick, raised red patches of skin covered with a dry, silvery white build-up of scales
- patches can appear anywhere on the body.
While a doctor can diagnose psoriasis, it is typically done by a dermatologist – a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the skin.
Researchers believe that the disease may occur when your immune system (your natural protection against bacteria, viruses, and other foreign invaders) is accidentally activated, triggering an acceleration of the normal skin cell cycle. This in turn causes an accumulation of skin cells on the surface of the skin.
While no one knows what triggers this response, heredity plays a part in it. If you have one parent with psoriasis, you have a 25% chance of getting it too. If both your parents have it, your chances are more than 50%.
On the other hand, some people with no detectable family history have psoriasis. There are various environmental factors, such as stress, injury to the skin, etc. that can trigger psoriasis. For this reason, it is believed that both genetic and non-genetic factors may cause the disease.