Know the truth behind psoriasis – here’s a list of common misconceptions and the truth you need to know.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that causes scaly, itchy, and painful patches all over the skin of the body. The true effects of psoriasis actually go much deeper than just the effect it has on the skin of the affected person. The inflammation caused by psoriasis has been linked to the increased risk of a number of health conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, most people do not realize that psoriasis is not just a skin disease, but is, in fact, an autoimmune condition that affects the whole body.
More than 7.5 million people in the United States alone are currently suffering from psoriasis. There are millions of people all over the globe who have psoriasis, and unfortunately, many of these people are not getting any kind of treatment. The root cause of this is the lack of awareness and understanding of what psoriasis is and what the disease entails. Things are made even more difficult owing to the fact that there are a number of myths surrounding psoriasis. Just because a belief is commonly held as true does not mean that it is. Let us help you separate the truth from fiction by debunking some of the most popular myths surrounding psoriasis.
As mentioned earlier, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes angry red, itchy, scaly patches on the scalp and the skin of the affected person. These patches or plaques are lesions that sometimes crack and bleed. The overall visage of the condition makes it look like a dire skin infection. This causes many people to jump to the conclusion that you can “catch” this disease from another person. However, this is a misconception! Psoriasis is not a contagious disease, and you cannot catch it from another person, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
On the other end of the spectrum are the people who assume that psoriasis is just a cosmetic condition. This too is absolutely untrue. The truth is that psoriasis is a serious chronic illness that lasts a lifetime. For most people suffering from psoriasis, the symptoms include thick and flaky scaly skin that causes discomfort and humiliation. However, for many others, psoriasis causes intense itching and physical pain. More than 10-30 percent of the people who have psoriasis go on to develop an inflammatory condition known as psoriatic arthritis. This condition results in joint pain, stiffness, swelling of joints, etc. Calling psoriasis a superficial condition is not factual, and it makes light of the pain and suffering of millions of psoriasis patients across the globe.
Because psoriasis is a skin condition, it is a common and completely inaccurate assumption that the disease is caused by poor personal hygiene. Such an assumption causes plenty of embarrassment and humiliation for people who have psoriasis. The truth is that this condition is a disease of the immune system. It is not caused and it does not worsen due to poor personal hygiene. The people who have psoriasis have a genetic leaning toward the development of the condition. A number of factors can trigger the onset and further flare-ups of psoriasis. These factors include skin injuries, infections, excessive stress, hormonal changes, as well as reactions to certain medications. Most people suffering from psoriasis experience the disease in cycles. Outbreaks are often followed by periods during which the skin is completely clear.
According to research, it is possible that there are millions of people who have psoriasis but have been incorrectly diagnosed or not diagnosed at all. It is easy to mistake a case of psoriasis for other skin rashes arising from problems like food allergies, eczema, other viruses, or even allergies to medication. With so many common causes to rule out, diagnosing psoriasis is not an easy prospect by any means. Other than a thorough visual inspection by an expert doctor, a proper diagnosis of psoriasis may also require a skin biopsy.
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