Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes recurring raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. An outbreak of these patches is often accompanied by itchiness, irritation, redness and hypersensitivity.
Outbreaks commonly occur on the scalp, elbows, knees, hands and feet, but it can also appear on other areas of the body. The majority of people with psoriasis will notice symptoms between the ages of 15 and 35.
The exact cause of psoriasis is still unknown, but it is known that the immune system and genetics play a big role. With psoriasis, the immune system is triggered mistakenly, causing skin cells to regenerate at a rapid rate – about every seven days as opposed to 28 to 30 days – building up layers of skin on top of each other, which leads to the formation of the psoriasis lesions.
The National Psoriasis Foundation lists the following as triggers for psoriasis outbreaks:
Injury to Skin