JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Psoriasis. Illustration of a section through the epidermis of human skin affected by the disease psoriasis. Psoriasis is caused by a ten-fold increase in the rate at which new skin cells are produced. These cells come from a rapidly dividing layer at the base of the epidermis, shown here in pink and deeply folded. Constant division pushes older cells to the surface, where they flatten, die, and form a thick layer of painful, flaky skin (top). Under the epidermis is the dermis, which contains blood vessels (red and blue) that nourish the skin. Psoriasis is an incurable disease that causes great physical discomfort.
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