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About this Series

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder in which the patient's autoimmune system becomes dysregulated, causing the epidermis cells to turn over much too rapidly. This results in the accumulation of patches of itchy, silvery plaque on the surface of the skin, often on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

Patients with psoriasis report a higher incidence of depression, mainly due to the persistent and disruptive nature of the condition. Many also experience shame and poor self-image, triggered by the public's response to the appearance of psoriatic lesions, which many people incorrectly believe are contagious.

These troubles can be exacerbated during and after pregnancy, when hormone changes cause psoriasis flare-ups to spike. In addition to dermatologic care, the emotional burden of psoriasis should be addressed to prevent compounding stress from triggering additional outbreaks of painful plaque lesions. For physicians caring for new mothers with psoriasis, experts say that it's essential to help those patients coordinate and plan for the management of psoriasis during and after delivery, with special attention given to the needs of nursing mothers.

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