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Decoding Myths about Psoriasis with Reliable Facts

Decoding Myths about Psoriasis with Reliable Facts

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition that manifests itself in the form of red patches with white, scaly and flaky dead skin cells. This can develop on any skin surface throughout the human body, but is most common on the skin of the knees, elbows, scalp, and upper body parts.

The scaly and flaky skin causes itchiness and pain. There are various myths that we often get to hear about psoriasis. Here, we discuss the facts about the skin condition and bust the most common myths about psoriasis.

Common myths about psoriasis

psoriasis

So, let’s get started with decoding the often-heard myths about the disorder.

Myth: Psoriasis is solely a skin condition

Fact: Psoriasis is not just a skin condition. It is rather an autoimmune disease. Medical experts are of the opinion that it occurs when the immune system malfunctions, leading to the body creating skin cells at a much quicker pace than what is usual. This implies that new skin cells are produced before the old ones can be shed. This causes a buildup of patchy and scaly skin.

Myth: It is contagious

Fact: As we discussed earlier, it is an autoimmune disease. It occurs due to an immune disorder in the individual and not due to a lack of hygiene practices. Hence, it is not contagious. You can be around an individual with psoriasis in the same way you do with another person without this disorder.

Myth: It occurs only amongst adults

Fact: The autoimmune disorder is not restricted to adults and can occur in people of all ages. However, it is more common amongst adults than children.

Myth: The disorder is not hereditary

Psoriasis fact 4: Yes, psoriasis is not always hereditary but that does not mean that people with a family history of psoriasis face the same risk as those without a family history of the disorder. Simply said, some people with a family history of psoriasis may be at greater risk of it.

The National Psoriasis Foundation found that a child with one parent diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder is at a 10% risk of developing it. On the other hand, a child with both parents with the disorder is at a significantly higher risk of 50% than those without a genetic history of it.

Myth: Psoriasis cannot be treated

Psoriasis fact 5: There are three objectives for treating this autoimmune disorder. These are – preventing the overactive production of skin cells, healing itching, pain and inflammation, and removing dead skin from the affected location. The disorder can be treated in different ways with OTC (over-the-counter) and prescription medications like topical and oral drugs, injections and light therapy, which helps to control the symptoms and manage the condition well.

Myth: It is a curable condition

Psoriasis fact 6: There is a clear difference between treatment and cure that some may misinterpret. This disorder can be treated but not cured. It is a lifelong condition and despite all medical efforts, it cannot be cured entirely. The treatment has to be continued to control the risk of the symptoms from making a reappearance. There might be phases when the disorder is under control and there are no symptoms while at other times, the symptoms may get flared-up.

Myth: Psoriasis is preventable

Psoriasis fact 7: The disorder can not be prevented, even if you know in advance that you may be at a higher risk because of it being in your family history. However, you can cut down on certain risk factors of psoriasis like excessive intake of alcohol, obesity, smoking, and stress. Certain other risk factors like hormonal changes may be beyond control, but it is best to seek medical advice for that too.

Myth: There are no other symptoms except flaky and swollen skin

Psoriasis fact 8: The symptoms of the disorder are more than what meets the eye. It can be painful and cause itching on the reddened skin. In extreme cases, it can also bleed from the cracks.

Myth: It cannot lead to other medical conditions

Psoriasis fact 9: If not treated at the right time or failing to strictly follow the doctor’s advice, psoriasis can become severe and cause other medical conditions. Individuals with the disorder are at a higher risk of developing other conditions like heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, cancers, liver diseases, and vision problems. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriasis arthritis.

Myth: There is only one type of this disorder/All psoriasis are the same

Psoriasis fact 10: Psoriasis can be classified into various categories based on external manifestations. The common types of this disorder are plaque, pustular, inverse, erythrodermic, and guttate. The type that usually occurs the most is plaque psoriasis, which is accompanied by symptoms like redness of skin along with white or grey dead skin cells. The scaly appearance of the skin often makes people isolate those with the disorder. They get stigmatised in their personal and professional lives, which affects their overall sense of well-being. Humans are social beings, and hence, crave for company, support, and validation. Therefore, it may gradually lead to mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.

Myth: Psoriasis is nothing but eczema

Psoriasis fact 11: Several people mistake psoriasis with eczema, another skin condition, but it is different. They may appear similar because of their similar appearances on the skin – red patches, inflammation, flaky skin, and itchy rashes. However, eczema affects more people than psoriasis. Some may get diagnosed with psoriasis and eczema at the same time.

Myth: A diet change can cure the disorder

Psoriasis fact 12: Till date, there is no cure for psoriasis. A change in diet may keep the disorder under control in some people. But there is no guarantee that this will be effective for everyone diagnosed with the disorder. Scientists and researchers believe that a change in diet does not bear any significant change in controlling the symptoms of the disorder.

Hope these psoriasis myths that we have busted for you will help you deal with the condition better. Share with us in the comments below if you know about any more myths or facts about psoriasis.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

What you may not know about Psoriasis https://www.psoriasis.com/living-with-psoriasis/psoriasis-myths Accessed on 06/05/2020

7 Common myths About Psoriasis https://www.windsordermatology.com/7-common-myths-about-psoriasis/ Accessed on 06/05/2020

Psoriasis/ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840/ Accessed on 25/06/2020

ABOUT PSORIASIS/ https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/ Accessed on 25/06/2020

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Written by Nikita Bhalla Updated 3 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.