What causes psoriasis?
Approximately once every month, your skin sheds its older cells and replaces them with new ones. In some people, their new skin cells are made a lot more frequently than this, resulting in the development of thick red, sometimes scaly patches, known as psoriasis.
It’s not always clear what causes psoriasis, but it’s thought that there may be a link between the condition and certain genes. So you might be more likely to develop psoriasis if someone in your family already has it. Additionally, certain triggers such as throat infections, skin injuries, certain medicines, stress, smoking, drinking and immune system problems can all trigger a flare up of the various forms of the condition.
Is psoriasis contagious?
No, psoriasis isn’t contagious. If you have psoriasis, you can’t pass it on to others by sharing linen or touching them. Likewise, you can’t catch psoriasis by touching or sharing linens with a person who has it.
Types of psoriasis
There are five different types of psoriasis:
This is the most common type of psoriasis, where raised patches of pinkish-red plaques commonly affect your back, knees and elbows
A rare and serious form of psoriasis where small spots, filled with pus, form on your skin. If these spots affect your whole body, you’ll need hospital treatment as the condition can be life-threatening.
This form of psoriasis only affects places where there are folds in your skin and causes smooth, shiny red patches that can be itchy.
This rarer form of psoriasis causes all of your skin to become red and inflamed; most commonly affecting those who already have another kind of psoriasis. Erythrodermic psoriasis can be the cause of serious complications so hospital treatment is usually necessary.
Guttate psoriasis causes your body to suddenly become covered with inflamed, raindrop-shaped scaly spots of skin. This type of psoriasis usually clears up within three to four months and is most commonly associated with children and young adults, often following a throat infection.