Your Health

Immune-Related Disorders

There are several different immune-related disorders. One of the more common ones is a skin condition known as psoriasis. Anyone can develop psoriasis. However it is most commonly experienced by individuals between the ages of 15 and 35.1

Usually, skin cells grow deep in the skin and rise to the surface about once a month. In persons with psoriasis, this process is too fast. Dead skin cells build up on the skin's surface.

A psoriatic attack may be triggered by any of the following conditions or be made more difficult to treat:1

  • Bacteria or viral infections, including strep throat and upper respiratory infections
  • Dry air or dry skin
  • Injury to the skin, including cuts, burns, and insect bites
  • Some medicines, including antimalarials, beta-blockers, and lithium
  • Stress
  • Too little sunlight
  • Sunburn
  • Too much alcohol

Symptoms include: 1

  • Irritated, red, flaky patches of skin
  • Most often seen on the elbows, knees, and middle of the body
  • Red patches may appear anywhere on the body, including the scalp

The skin may be:1

  • Itchy
  • Dry and covered with silver, flaky skin (scales)
  • Pink-red in color (like the color of salmon)
  • Raised and thick

1. US National Library of Medicine. Disease conditions: Psoriasis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001470/, accessed April 4, 2012.

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