Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune skin disease that speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells.

Who is at risk for psoriasis?

Anyone can get psoriasis. It occurs mostly in adults, but children can also get it. Men and women seem to have equal risk. Psoriasis is not contagious.

What causes psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that part of the body’s own immune system becomes overactive and attacks normal tissues in the body.

Current CDC Activities

Efforts to deal with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have typically addressed the individual with the condition and focused on clinical and biomedical research issues. In 2010 CDC worked with experts in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and public health to develop a public health perspective that considers how these conditions affect the entire population. The resulting report is Developing and Addressing the Public Health Agenda for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (Agenda) [PDF - 380.44KB]. A short article about the Agenda will be published in the April 2013 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Anyone or organization (dermatologic or public health) with an interest in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can use the Agenda. Questions related to psoriasis have also been included in some cycles of CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. These data are useful in providing national estimates on the prevalence of psoriasis.

What are other sources for information of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis?

Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Division of Population Health (DPH)
    4770 Buford Hwy, NE
    MS K-40
    Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
    Closed Holidays
  • Contact CDC-INFO The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO