Although it appears on the skin, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. It happens when skin cells are produced too rapidly and pile up on the surface of the skin before they have a chance to mature.
More than 7 million people in the United States have psoriasis, and it affects men and women about equally. It often appears between the ages of 15 and 35, but can affect people of all ages and races.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease that will require lifelong treatment. There is no cure, but the good news is that a number of treatment options can reduce the severity of the disease.