According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory skin condition that involves red elevated patches and flaking silvery scales. It affects as many as one million Canadians and 80 million people worldwide. Lesions may be painful and itchy, and can appear anywhere on the body, but most commonly occur on the hands, knees, elbows and scalp, says Dr. Melinda Gooderham, a dermatologist at the Skin Centre for Dermatology in Peterborough, Ont. Psoriasis lesions occur as a result of the skin thickening at an abnormally fast rate. While psoriasis can be somewhat controlled, someone with the condition may experience flare-ups which disappear before another episode occurs.
Here are four things you should know about psoriasis, even if you don’t have the condition yourself.