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This is the skin disease psoriasis. Psoriasis is considered a chronic disease because it lasts for a long time. Diagnosing the disease is simple because it is easily recognized by its appearance (picture) and symptoms. Some symptoms of psoriasis include scaling, inflammation, itching, pain, restricted joint motion, and discomfort. The most common regions affected by psoriasis are the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, palms, and the soles of the feet. However psoriasis can affect the skin at any region on the body. It is caused when the body sends out incorrect cell signals that speed up the growth of skin cells. Some treatments vary from home treatments of cortisone cream to hospitalization and prescription retinoids depending on the severity of the infection. Attacks of psoriasis can be triggered by sunlight, dry air, dry skin, too much alcohol, and stress. At this point in time there is no known prevention technique for psoriasis.

Q1: Is Psoriasis herditary? (CBACON)
A: Yes it is hereditary however it does not mean that if a parent had psoriasis that you are bound to develop it as well. It just means that you have a chance to develop the disease as well as anyone else in your family. People could live their whole lives with the right gene mixture for psoriasis however it takes a trigger to activate it such as a stressful life event.

Q2: Once infected with Psoriasis, can it get worse and spread to other areas of the body? (M. Francis)
A: Psoriasis cannot spread to other parts of the body however it is possible for it to appear anywhere on the body. Contact with an infected area will not spread the disease. It will not necessarily get worse over time, however severe flare-ups of psoriasis can present themselves from time to time.

Q3: Are some people more likely to get this than others? If so, how? (CRICH)
A: Psoriasis is a disease that is hereditary so if someone in your family has had the disease than you will be at risk to have it as well. Psoriasis also tends to show up equally in males and females, but also showing up slightly more often in caucasian people than other races.

Q4: Is Psoriasis a painful disease? (M.Goldberg)
A: Yes, Psoriasis is a painful disease. Sometimes these lesions on the skin can crack open and bleed, causing major discomfort for the person suffering from this disease. This cracking and bleeding can also stop a psoriasis patient from sleeping, because this pain will keep waking him or her up.

Q5: What can cause Psoriasis? (W.Stocker)
A: Psoriasis is hereditary so if you do have it things like dry air, dry skin, too much sunlight, and stress can all lead to outbreaks of Psoriasis. It is commonly found on the elbows, lower back, knees, scalp, palms, and soles of feet. The main cause for psoriasis to develop however is when T-cells initiate a reaction in the skin cells and therefore and overgrowth of skin cells occurs.