Psoriasis is a skin condition affecting some two percent of the population, and occurs when the skin cells replace themselves too quickly. There are many different types, but the most common is chronic plaque psoriasis. The cause is unknown, but triggers are thought to include skin injury, sore throat or chest infections, certain drug treatments, sunburn, and stress. A specific form of arthritis is related to psoriasis.
Psoriasis usually appears as red, scaly patches that reveal fine silvery scales when scraped or scratched. These patches may itch and feel uncomfortable. It's most common on the knees, elbows, and scalp, but can appear anywhere on the body.
Some people with psoriasis become withdrawn and don't socialise or form relationships because of the way people react to the appearance of their skin. Treatment and self-help can, however, be effective, as this book shows.