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What Exactly Is Psoriasis?

WHAT is my skin condition?

Why is my skin so itchy with red patches and scales? Why do I have dry skin that spreads on different parts of my body with small, silvery looking scales that burn and ache? Why are areas of my body covered in dry, flaky patches?

These symptoms are the most common in people who have PSORIASIS.

Psoriasis is a skin condition that is caused by an overactive immune system. T cells (lymphocytes that are a part of the immune system) ordinarily fight off viruses and bacteria. In people who have psoriasis, these same T cells attack healthy skin cells the same way they attack foreign substances within the body. Inflammation, redness in skins lesions, scaly patches, and increased amounts of dry skin result due to the increased production and buildup of the healthy skins cells.

Psoriasis can develop on any part of the body but is most commonly found on the arms (particularly elbows), legs (particularly knees), scalp and trunk. Psoriasis can even affect the nails and joints. Although this condition is chronic and often fast spreading, the following lifestyle modifications can be of benefit:

  1. Healthy diet

  2. Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption

  3. Decrease stressful activities

  4. Get more sleep (at least 8 hours per day)

  5. Maintenance of normal body weight

While there is no known cure for psoriasis at this time, many treatments have been developed to treat it.

What can you do?

If you are experiencing the symptoms above, contact your physician for evaluation and management.

Here at the Houston Center for Clinical Research we are currently conducting trials for the treatment of psoriasis. All appointments and study visits are free, and patients may be compensated for their time and travel! For more information, please call 832-929-6221. You can also visit our website at

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