It has always been a knee-jerk reaction of some to stare, snicker, or worse, move away from people who have psoriasis. While the skin condition isn’t contagious, other people still hang on to a few misconceptions.
Psoriasis is a long-lasting, inflammatory skin condition that creates unneeded skin cells as a result of an overactive immune system. The more severe the condition, the more it is noticeable. It generates scaly patches on the skin that can bleed, itch, and emit pus-filled blisters when aggravated.
This National Psoriasis Awareness Month, we listed down 5 common misbeliefs to debunk false notions about the skin condition, stop the stigma surrounding it, and support those who experience its manifestations.
MYTH # 1: PSORIASIS IS CONTAGIOUS
One cannot simply “catch” psoriasis from another person or transmit it on to someone else through close contact. As an autoimmune condition, genetic factors play a role in triggering psoriasis. You must have specific genes to acquire the skin condition so spare those who have it from cold stares during pool parties.
MYTH # 2: PSORIASIS IS CAUSED BY BAD HYGIENE
Even though the origins of psoriasis are not fully understood yet, uncleanliness plays no part in its cause.
Bad hygiene doesn’t result in psoriasis as the skin condition is deeply rooted in the genes. Although external triggers such as stress, injury, hormones, and other particular agents may worsen the skin condition, bad hygiene still does not cause it.
MYTH # 3: PSORIASIS ONLY AFFECTS PATIENTS PHYSICALLY
Psoriasis goes beyond skin-deep as it contributes psychological effects to those who have it. The appearance of their skin and the way others react to it add a further burden to patients’ emotional wellbeing. They report feelings of helplessness, anger, and depression.
Some others experience thoughts of suicide as the condition alters their self-esteem, relationships, and overall quality of life. It’s very important that the physical symptoms and psychological aspects are assessed regularly to prescribe the most appropriate treatment.
MYTH # 4: PSORIASIS ONLY DEVELOPS IN ADULTS
Children are not invincible to the skin condition. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), psoriasis also affects around 20,000 children aged 10 below. Parents who have it genetically pass them to their offsprings. Fortunately, most pediatric cases of psoriasis in children get better with treatment.
MYTH # 5: PSORIASIS IS JUST A RASH
It’s not just a rash. Every day, those who have psoriasis endure an immune system that has turned against their bodies–a far cry from what rashes do. The skin condition may also affect the person’s body, with some developing serious health concerns like:
- Heart disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- And some cancers
A SILVER LINING
Although the skin condition is a life-long worry with no known cure, a wide variety of ways exist to help manage the symptoms and signs of psoriasis. We should also take advantage of the yearly observance to put an end to confusion and misunderstandings. We might not heal people with psoriasis yet, but we can certainly cure misinformation.
The information presented on AllergyKB is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Our knowledge base website is for general informational purposes only. It should not be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. We highly urge everyone to always seek the advice of their physician or other qualified health providers.