One to three percent of the world’s population is afflicted by Psoriasis. It is a chronic disease with several types but the most common is the chronic plaque psoriasis.
Our skin has two layers, outer one called the epidermis and the inner layer known as dermis. Skin cells are formed in this layer and move up through epidermis to skin surface as skin cells keep on dying and are replaced continuously. But in case of a person afflicted with psoriasis, this replacement cycle becomes unbalanced. The skin cells start reproduce at a much faster pace and live for only for three to four days. The dead cells thus formed keep on building on the skin and form thick, flaky patches which are called ‘Plaque.’ These become red due to the increased blood supply to these fast growing cells.
Heredity is one of the causes of psoriasis. A child with a parent suffering from psoriasis has one to ten to one to four chances of having this disease. In case both the parents are suffering fromo psoriasis, the chances rise up to fifty percent. Recent studies also strongly suggest that it is a disorder of the immune system. Immune system, which defends the body from infections sometimes mistakenly, attacks the tissues, organs or cells of the body. It is called autoimmune disease. Psoriasis can also be an autoimmune disease.