The Difficulty of Getting DiagnosedLiz had a hard time getting her doctor to take her seriously Read moreMore about psoriasis
Approximately seven million people in the United States have psoriasis, an often painful and itchy skin condition that produces red, inflamed patches on the skin. Those patches are usually covered with a white buildup of dead skin cells.
Scientists are not sure what causes the disease, which is not contagious. They do know that psoriasis involves a genetic dysfunction that triggers an inappropriate immune response, leading to the rapid production of new skin cells. In many cases, environmental factors may also play a role.