Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the United States, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans. An estimated 125 million people worldwide live with psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a chronic, noncontagious autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease, affecting 80 percent of people with psoriasis. It appears as raised, red patches of skin covered by a silvery, white buildup called scale.
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown. Genetics and external factors known as “triggers” play a role in the development of the disease. Triggers include injury to the skin, infections and certain medications.