Psoriasis is often, but not always, inherited. You are more likely to inherit it through your mother. It is a chronic skin and/or joint condition that most often shows up either when you are a teenager or in late middle age. While it can involve any part of the body, it most often involves the elbows, knees, scalp, sometimes hands and feet. It sometimes shows up in brows, and on the side of the nose.

Triggers of psoriasis include stress, infection (especially strep throat), and some medications including beta blockers for high blood pressure and heart problems. Injury to the skin can make it worse, such as a cut or a sunburn (even though small amounts of sun can help it). It also can “overlap” on the skin with dandruff, or yeast infections in the armpits, under the breasts or in the groin.

There is no cure for psoriasis. There are many treatments, which means no single one is perfect. The treatments range from mild to strong topical steroids; tar; vitamin d and vitamin a creams; uvb light, and uva light; pills like cyclosporine, methotrexate and acitretin; and most recently the “biologics” Enbrel, Amevive, Humira, Raptiva and Remicaide.