Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin, causing the appearance of red, scaly patches that are often itchy or painful. There are more than 7.5 million adults living with psoriasis in the United States. The prevalence of psoriasis hasn’t changed much since 2003.

Many environmental and lifestyle factors can cause a person to experience a flare-up, during which their symptoms worsen. Some common triggers include:

  • stress
  • heavy alcohol use 
  • tobacco use
  • cold, dry weather
  • skin injury, such as a cut or burn
  • viral infections, such as a cold or strep throat
  • certain medications, including lithium, prednisone, and hydroxychloroquine

Psoriasis has no cure. However, treatment can reduce inflammation, remove plaques, and slow the growth of patches. The infographic below outlines the different effects that the condition can have on the body.