Psoriasis is a non-contagious skin condition that typically presents itself as raised red area, sometimes covered in cracked or scaly skin. It’s easy to feel alone in this uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing situation, but millions of people in the U.S. alone suffer from it. With the condition being so common, you would think more people would have a clearer idea of what the truth of psoriasis is. Unfortunately, like with many other things, there is a plethora of misinformation available and it can make the reality difficult to see what is true about the condition. For that reason, we have put together a list of facts you may need to know, or find interesting, about psoriasis:
- The disease is non-contagious: People sometimes assume that the condition is contagious, probably because of its prevalence. However, it is not.
- Psoriasis and eczema are not the same thing: Psoriasis is the result of an overproduction of skin cells that can build up into a silverly or white-ish scaled area. It can become inflamed, irritated, red and itchy. It is an auto-immune condition. Eczema, on the other hand, is a sort of hypersensitivity reaction similar to an allergy. It can cause red, peeling, cracked or blistered skin but is generally not covered with scales.
- Psoriasis can occur anywhere: While it is most common along the knees and elbows, patches of psoriatic skin can occur anywhere on the body. Visible psoriasis can be a source of embarrassment and psoriatic patches on tender areas like the buttocks, inner thighs, armpits and genitals can be especially painful.
- There are different types of psoriasis: Currently there are five recognized types of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is the most common type, characterized by inflamed areas of skin topped with scales. Guttate psoriasis commonly presents as small red dots. Pustular psoriasis is a more uncomfortable form of psoriasis that is characterized by pus-filled blister lesions with intense scaling. Inverse psoriasis shows up as inflammation in the folds of the skin. Erythrodermic is characterized by intense shedding and redness of the skin. This type is rare but may require closer medical supervision than some other types.
- There is no cure: That doesn’t mean that there are no successful treatments. Currently, it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that causes the skin to be incorrectly triggered and grow too rapidly. This overgrowth causes the skin to build up and show the trademark signs of the condition. Because it is autoimmune, there has been some success on immune-suppressing drugs. However, many people also choose to treat the condition from the outside with balms, salves, creams and more. It is a very treatable condition.
- Plenty of celebrities have it: It’s easy to feel like you may have to hide or that your psoriasis will prevent you from being seen as attractive. As we said before, millions of people suffer with the condition and among those millions are some very popular and highly sought after celebrities. These include Kim Kardashian, CariDee English (winner of Americas Next Top Model in 2006 and TV personality – she even did a before and after photoshoot chronicling her psoriasis journey), Art Garfunkel, Jon Lovitz, swimmer Dara Torres, LeeAnn Rimes, stylist and television host Stacy London, Miss California 2013 Mabelynn Capelui, director Eli Roth and more!