Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition which is a cause of an overactive immune system. This results in the rapid build-up of skin cells. Once the cells start building, they cause scaling on the skin’s surface.

Usually, skin cells grow in the deeper layers of the skin and eventually rise to the surface. Later on, they fall off and the process continues. Typically, the life cycle of a skin cell is one month. However, in people suffering from psoriasis since the production of cells is extreme, they do not have the time to fall off. As a result of which the cells start building up.

Psoriatic scales develop as thick, red patches and appear to be whitish-silver in texture. The condition causes inflammation and redness around these scales. Sometimes, these patches will crack and bleed.

Is Psoriasis contagious?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition. Autoimmune conditions are the result of the body attacking itself. In the case of psoriasis, white blood cells known as T cells mistakenly attack the skin cells. This means that psoriasis isn’t contagious i.e. it can’t spread from one person to another. It’s a result of a person’s own gene makeup.


The most common symptoms of plaque psoriasis include:

  • Formation of red, raised, inflamed patches of skin
  • Development of whitish-silver scales on the red patches
  • Skin becomes dry and may crack or bleed
  • The skin around the patches become sore
  • The area around the patches may start to itch and burn
  • Joints become swollen and may even pain
  • Nails become thick and pitted

Psoriasis triggers

  • Stress- Unusually high levels of stress may increase the production of cells, making psoriasis even worse.
  • Alcohol- High consumption of alcohol can trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
  • Injury- Any kind of injury like an accident, cut or even a scrape can trigger the condition.

Diagnosing psoriasis

For diagnosing psoriasis, one of the following two tests may be conducted necessarily-

  1. Physical examination: Symptoms of psoriasis are very easy to distinguish from other diseases with similar symptoms. As a result of which, most doctors are able to diagnose psoriasis with a very simple physical examination.
  2. Biopsy: Sometimes, the symptoms of psoriasis are very closely related to conditions with similar symptoms. In such cases, the doctors are unclear about their diagnosis and hence they confirm the same through Biopsy. A biopsy is basically a process in which doctors take a small sample of the skin to test it in order to confirm their suspected diagnosis.

Treatment for Psoriasis

Topical psoriasis treatments include-

  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Topical retinoids
  • Anthralin
  • Vitamin D analogues
  • Salicylic acid
  • Moisturizers

Systematic Medications

Different patients of psoriasis suffer from different intensities of the condition. Once topical treatments have been used, there are chances that a patient won’t respond well to them. As a result, he/she may need to use injected or oral medications which are usually prescribed for short periods of time. An example of such medication is-

  • Light therapy- As the name suggests, this treatment involves curing psoriasis using light. This treatment involves using ultraviolet (UV) or natural light to do the same. The way this therapy works is that sunlight kills the overactive white blood cells which are attacking the healthy skin cells. This, in turn, will control the rapid cell growth. In order to reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate psoriasis, UVA or UVB rays may be used.

Diet recommendations for people with psoriasis

One thing needs to be cleared that food cannot cure psoriasis, what it can do is reduce its symptoms. This includes eating healthy and taking a low glycaemic diet. In the case of a patient suffering from obesity, reducing weight can help lower down the symptoms of the disease.