Psoriasis is a skin condition that is actually a chronic autoimmune disease. The disease affects the immune system, which sends out signals that makes the growth of skin cells faster than normal. A common misconception is that psoriasis is contagious. This is one reason the disease can be very difficult - people tend to shy away from those who have psoriasis, thinking that it is catching. The fact is that psoriasis is a genetic disorder and you cannot catch it by coming in contact with someone who is affected by the condition.
There are five kinds of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic. The most common kind of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. People with this condition have scaly silvery-white patches of skin. These patches can appear on any part of the body, but are usually found on the elbows and knees.
Guttate psoriasis appears as red dots on the skin, while pustular psoriasis is manifested by blisters which look like they have pus. In inverse psoriasis, the skin is inflamed yet smooth (as opposed to scaly). It occurs in creases in the body. Lastly, erythrodermic psoriasis involves shedding of the skin accompanied by severe redness.
While genetics has something to do with psoriasis, doctors have not really pinpointed the exact cause. They do know, however, that people who have psoriasis can get it at any time in their lives again and again. Some triggers have been determined, including cold weather, stress, and infection. Psoriasis is treatable, or at least controllable. If you have this disease, it is best to find a good dermatologist who can help you keep the disease under control.