9 Common Psoriasis Myths Debunked
Psoriasis (pronounced sor-ry-asis), is derived from Greek and directly translates to “have an itch”. This is quite fitting, considering that the condition is characterised by red, itchy, scaly patches of skin. There are many misconceptions about psoriasis, such as sufferers being made to feel like outcasts because people think it is contagious. The truth is that it is not contagious at all, but it is a lot more than just a rash. Read below to see how we debunk 9 common psoriasis myths.
Psoriasis Myths: Psoriasis is caused by poor hygiene
Due to the fact that psoriasis is a skin disease, many people assume that lack of cleanliness and hygiene is the root of this red, scaly disease. In actual fact, psoriasis has been linked to genetic causes, which can be worsened by other factors such as stress, injury, hormonal changes and certain medications.
Psoriasis Myths: Psoriasis is contagious
Psoriasis sufferers may have red and inflamed skin, which cracks open and bleeds. Some people believe the skin may be infected and is contagious. However, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, not an infection caused by a bacteria or virus, so it cannot be passed from one person to the next.
Psoriasis Myths: Psoriasis cannot be treated
There are several methods of treatment for psoriasis, which is dependant on the severity of the condition. For mild to moderate psoriasis, topical treatments such as Ultra Bee’s Psoriasis Balm are suitable to relieve symptoms. It is rich in natural oils which help to soothe the dry, cracked and inflamed skin, while the added propolis and tea tree act as antiseptic and antiviral agents, preventing any nasty infections. For more severe cases of psoriasis, phototherapy and biological medication has been used as treatment options. It all depends on the individual as everyone will react differently.
Psoriasis Myths: Psoriasis is easily identifiable
The symptoms of psoriasis are often confused with other dry skin conditions such as eczema or seborrhoiec dermatitis. In addition to psoriasis having common symptoms, there are also several different kinds of psoriasis, with the most common being plaque psoriasis. Each type of psoriasis has different symptoms, making it very difficult to diagnose simply by looking at it. This is why it is important to visit a dermatologist for tests to be carried out.
Psoriasis Myths: Psoriasis can be cured
Although the symptoms of psoriasis can be treated, there is no official cure for the disease and it is considered a lifelong condition. Sufferers go through periods where they experience flare ups, followed by periods where their skin is clear. This doesn’t mean that the condition has been cured, but rather that there are cycles that the skin goes through.
Psoriasis Myths: Psoriasis only develops in adults
It is true that psoriasis is more common in adults than it is in children, as most people experience their first outbreak between the ages of 15 and 30. However, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, about 20 000 children under the age of 10 are diagnosed with psoriasis annually.
Psoriasis Myths: Psoriasis only affects the skin
The most visible symptom of psoriasis is the red, scaly patches on the skin, but it can cause inflammation throughout the body, which puts you at risk for other diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes. Some people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis, which, as in other forms of arthritis, causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. People who suffer with psoriasis also have to also deal with feelings of stigmatization, depression, and anxiety, all of which can seriously affect their mental health as well as their work and close relationships. There have even been case reports that link the condition with suicide.
Psoriasis Myths: Psoriasis can be prevented
It is true that there are certain risk factors for psoriasis which are preventable. This includes things such as managing your weight, reducing stress levels, and alcohol intake, and avoiding or quitting smoking can reduce your risk. However, there is also a genetic component to the disease which means that no matter what your lifestyle is, you are still at risk to develop the disease.
Psoriasis is a serious autoimmune disease with lasting effects. When we all know the facts, people who have the condition are met with understanding and support rather than ignorance.
Psoriasis Myths: All psoriasis is the same
There are several different kinds of psoriasis. All of which have different symptoms and appear of different parts of the body. These include:
This kind of psoriasis is uncommon and mostly appears in adults. It causes pus-filled bumps (pustules) surrounded by red skin. These may look infectious, but are not.
This type is the least common, but it’s very serious as it affects most of your body and causes widespread, fiery skin that appears burned. If you have these symptoms, see your doctor right away. You may need to get treated in a hospital. This type of psoriasis can cause severe illness from protein and fluid loss. You may also develop an infection, pneumonia, or congestive heart failure.
This type shows up on the skin as bright red, smooth, and shiny areas, but does not have scales. It’s usually found in areas prone to sweating such as armpits, groin, under breasts and skin folds. Inverse psoriasis may worsen with sweating and rubbing and yeast build up may trigger it.
This type often starts in children or young adults and happens in less than 2% of cases. Guttate psoriasis causes small, pink-red spots on your skin. It often appears on the abdomen area, upper arms, thighs and scalp and is triggered by stress or oral infections such as strep throat
This is the most common type of Psoriasis. This type of psoriasis causes raised, inflamed, red skin covered with silvery, white scales. These patches may itch and burn. It can appear anywhere on your body, but often pops up on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back.