Psoriasis is surprisingly common particularly in the Europe and the USA. Psoriasis affects men and women equally at it can start at any range. Psoriasis causes pink or red raised parches of skin which are called 'plaques' by doctors. Plaques have a scaly surface and may range in size from tiny to very large. You cannot catch psoriasis from other people or infect anyone else if you have the condition yourself. There is no cure for psoriasis although it does occasionally disappear of good. However the treatments have greatly improved and although coping with psoriasis is still a great challenge for many people the help available is better now than it has ever been.Dr. Andrew Warin is consultant dermatologist at the Royal Devon and Exeter Healthcare NHS trust. He has had a long-standing interest in the treatment of psoriasis and in patient and GP education. He has recently completed an interactive CD-ROM patient information program on psoriasis.Dr. Tony Smith: Family Doctor Publications' Medical Editor-in-Chief was for many years Deputy Editor of the British Medical Journal and continues to work as an Associate Editor. He is the Medical Editor of both the Complete Family Health Encyclopaedia and the Family Home Adviser.We regret the author(s) are unable to enter into correspondence with readers.The British Medical Association (BMA): The British Medical Association is the professional body that looks after doctors' interests speaks on their behalf and keeps their scientific knowledge up to date through meetings and publications.