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What Is Psoriasis?

Dermatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis. Psoriasis is a noncontagious common skin condition that causes rapid skin cell reproduction resulting in red, dry patches of thickened skin. Areas affected include the skin of the elbows, knees, and scalp and is considered a non-curable, long-term (chronic) skin condition.

Some people have such mild psoriasis (small, faint dry skin patches) that they may not even suspect that they have a medical skin condition. Others have very severe psoriasis where virtually their entire body is fully covered with thick, red, scaly skin.

psoriasis on a patient's elbow

What Causes Psoriasis?

Even though the exact cause remains unknown, there may be a combination of factors, including genetic predisposition and environmental factors. It is common for psoriasis to be found in members of the same family. Also, the immune system is thought to play a major role.

Is Psoriasis Contagious?

No. Medical research has not shown psoriasis to be contagious from person to person. You cannot catch it from anyone, and you cannot pass it to anyone else by skin-to-skin contact. You can directly touch someone with psoriasis every day and never catch the skin condition.

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