Though psoriasis is a common skin condition, it’s an annoying one to the patient because it causes skin redness and irritation. Some patient’s skin looks thick and red with flaky patches (sometimes silver) called scales. Psoriasis usually first appears in patients between the ages of 15 and 35 years of age. This is a genetic condition, but it is not contagious. Medical research indicates that psoriasis is triggered by an overactive immune response – meaning that the body seeks certain cells as pathogens that must be eliminated. This is also called an autoimmune disorder. In normal patients, the skin cells grow underneath the skin and rise to the surface about every four weeks, but in psoriasis patients, the growth process is too fast, and the new skin rises to the surface in about two weeks. This causes the dead skin cells build up on the patient’s skin’s surface. Patients suffering from psoriasis often experience itching and sensitivity around the affected areas, but they must also cope with the aesthetic factors, such as having visible scales and plaques. Fortunately, Houston dermatologist Dr. Stephen Mahoney offers treatment for psoriasis patients. For more information about treatment options for psoriasis, contact West Houston Dermatology at (281) 558-3376 to schedule an appointment.