Psoriasis is a condition that causes inflammation of the skin. This takes the form of lesions that appear as large, red, scaly patches that also cause itching and sometimes pain. Conditions such as psoriasis that cause similar patterns of skin inflammation fall under the broader category of dermatitis.

Psoriasis can range in severity. Cases that are particularly serious and meet Social Security Administration requirements may qualify for Social Security Disability.

What causes psoriasis?

According to the Mayo Clinic, the cause of psoriasis is not entirely clear. Researchers believe that it is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to produce new skin cells before the old ones have shed. The buildup causes scaly plaques to form. Psoriasis appears to occur because of a genetic predisposition triggered by environmental factors, which may include injury, infection and lifestyle habits, such as smoking or drinking.

What are the treatments?

Treatments for psoriasis include medications to manage symptoms and suppress or alter the immune system so that it stops sending the signals to keep making new skin cells. Some of these drugs are injectable, while oral administration is appropriate for others. Phototherapy, which involves exposure to natural or artificial light, is another possible treatment modality. It is important for phototherapy to take place only under a doctor’s supervision. Overexposure could cause permanent damage to the skin.

When does psoriasis qualify for SSD?

According to the SSA, a person may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits because of psoriasis if the skin lesions become extensive over the entire body. They must be refractory to prescribed treatment modalities and persist for at least three months despite continued efforts at management.