Within the United States, 8 million people have psoriasis. In recent years, fashion icons Kim Kardashian West and Cara Delavingne have spoken candidly about their struggles with the disease. Though this disease is pretty common, there are still many misconceptions and stigmas surrounding it. For instance, it’s not just a skin condition. While psoriasis is associated with red, inflamed skin, many patients also report that the disease has taken a toll on their quality life and studies show that people with psoriasis are twice as likely to experience depression.
Here’s a guide debunking the five myths about the disease.
1. Psoriasis Only Affects the Skin
When you think about the word ‘psoriasis,’ you probably envision patches of red scaly skin. Psoriasis makes skin cells grow at a rapid rate, triggering the buildup of scaly red lesions. This may cause itchiness or a burning sensation. However, psoriasis isn’t solely a skin condition. As an autoimmune disease, it develops when the immune system starts attacking its own tissues by mistake.
2. All Psoriasis Are The Same
In order to find a proper treatment, you should have a thorough understanding of how psoriasis is impacting your body. Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that all psoriasis are exactly the same. In fact, there are various kinds: plaque psoriasis, erythrodermic, guttate, pustular, and inverse. The most common form of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. Typically, it manifests as patches of lesions that are covered with a white accumulation of dead skin cells. The second most common form of the disease is guttate psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis is characterized as red dots covering the skin. This type of psoriasis usually develops in young adults and affects 10 percent of people who have the disease.
3. Psoriasis and Eczema Are The Same
There’s a reason why psoriasis and eczema are commonly mistaken as the same thing. Since they both can lead to rashes and red patches that are very unpleasant, there’s a myth that there is no difference between them. But they are not the same at all. The American Journal of Managed Care defines eczema as a “chronic relapsing inflammatory skin condition.” While psoriasis can impact the skin, it’s an autoimmune disease. If you want to learn more about your symptoms, you can talk to a healthcare provider. As a mom, it’s pretty normal to have a super busy schedule and feel stressed about taking the time to visit a doctor’s office. There’s no need to worry: companies now have telehealth services that offer online consultations with healthcare providers who can assess your symptoms.
4. Psoriasis Is A Disease Exclusively Impacting Adults
Psoriasis typically affects people from the ages of 15 to 25. However, it can affect people of all ages. The National Psoriasis Foundation reported that annually, 20,000 children younger than 10 are diagnosed with the disease. If your child is showing symptoms of psoriasis, you should consult with a healthcare provider.
5. There Is A Cure For Psoriasis
While psoriasis can’t be cured since it’s a lifelong condition, there are ways to manage the disease so it doesn’t negatively impact your daily life. A doctor with a background in dermatology can prescribe a treatment that fits your needs. There are many treatments:
Women living with psoriasis deserve to live in a world that’sfree of any stigmas. Often, these stigmas are perpetuated by people who don’t have accurate information. It’s important that you spread the facts about psoriasis so those who have it feel less shame. This Psoriasis Awareness Month, do your part in eliminating the stigma and tell people the truth behind these common misconceptions.