Psoriasis is a common, non contagious chronic skin disorder that appears in many different forms and can affect any part of the body.
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Psoriasis can affect any area of the body but it is most commonly found on the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet, and genitals. Psoriasis is classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the percentage of body surface involved and the affect it has on the patient’s life.

There are different types of Psoriasis characterized by different signs and symptoms. Plaque psoriasis, the most common type is distinguished by raised, thickened patches of red skin covered with silvery-white scales. Pustular psoriasis is know for by pus-like blisters, erythrodermic psoriasis is characterized by extreme redness and swelling of a large part of the skin surface, guttate psoriasis is differentiated by small, drop-like cuts, and inverse psoriasis is known for smooth red cuts in the folds of the skin. 

Most of the time psoriasis is almost unnoticeable in its early stages, but patients often report an itching or burning sensation as the disease progresses. Psoriasis is not contagious but can be inherited. Research has shown that the disease may result from a disorder in the immune system. Factors such as smoking, sun exposure, alcoholism, and HIV infection may affect how often the psoriasis occurs. Psoriasis affects children and adults and men and woman are affected equally.

Other sources of information for these topics.

National Psoriasis Foundation
Providing information on symptoms, treatments, research, educational programs, photo archives, case histories, and children's resources.

MedlinePlus: Psoriasis
Offers links to news, articles, and research data regarding this disease. Also offers clinical research data, diagnostics and conditions, and newsletters.

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