Psoriasis is a chronic, 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. Psoriasis is not contagious.
There are five types of psoriasis. The most common form, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells. Psoriasis can occur on any part of the body and may be associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.
Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S. As many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis.
Treating moderate to severe psoriasis usually involves a combination of treatment strategies. Besides topical treatments, your doctor may prescribe phototherapy (also known as UVB light therapy) and/or systemic medications, including biologic drugs.
Eczema is term for a group of medical conditions that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. The most common type of eczema is known as atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema.