Is Psoriasis Contagious?
Psoriasis is NOT contagious
No one really knows what causes psoriasis, but it is most closely related to a genetic link.
Research has shown about 30% of all causes is based on family history. However, there are a few lifestyle choices that may be a factor as well. Excessive drinking, being overweight, too much stress, anxiety, sunburn, and even some medications can bring about psoriasis or make the symptoms a bit late.
Psoriasis may look a bit disconcerting, but it is not contagious and if you don’t have it you won’t get it.
The symptoms affect each person differently; while one person may have small areas of patchy skin, others will have patches all over the body. In any case, psoriasis has no cure but learning to know if you have it or not is the first step in finding ways to prevent breakouts.
Psoriasis remains a mystery as far as the main causes are concerned.
What is Psoriasis?
To fully deal with the symptoms of psoriasis requires one to understand what psoriasis is and how it affects your skin. First, it’s important to figure out how normal skin works.
During the course of a month, skin cells go through their life cycle process. The skin has two layers, the top and bottom layers. The newest layers of the skin form on the bottom layer and slowly make their way to the top. The top layer stays alive for those 28-30 days, before dying and falling away. The process isn’t noticeable at all and we all use thousands of skin cells each day during showers or towel drying afterwards.
When someone suffers with psoriasis, their skin process moves much faster. Often the cycle happens in only 3-4 days. The new cells develop much more quickly and force themselves through the top layer of skin. These new cells cause a bit of a buildup of dead skin on the surface.
The good news is that the skins cells seem to affect only a small patch of skin at a time. The most common areas this happens in are the scalp, elbows, knees or knuckles, but it can show up anywhere really. These areas of patchy, scaly, red skin are more commonly known as plaques.
Types of Psoriasis
If you have ever dealt with psoriasis you know the feeling of struggling with red, itchy, scaly skin.
Do you know what type of psoriasis you have? Were you even aware there were more than just one type?
There are, in fact, three main types of psoriasis and although the basic symptoms are the same, they are all a little bit different.
All forms of psoriasis affect the skin. They can cause a few different problems and if you are lucky they will only cause one problem at a time. Psoriasis is famous for the redness of skin and the shedding.
There are two layers of skin, the top and bottom. Shedding skin is a normal procedure, but it happens over time so that we don’t notice. In psoriasis, we notice because the bottom lay tries to move up to the top before the top is ready to shed. This leaves cracks in the skin and gives it that red look. On top of that, the skin may start to become inflamed. If you scratch at the skin while it is flaky, red and peeling, you could get weeping lesions and scaling on the affected area.
Those are the main symptoms for the basic three types of psoriasis:
Plaque Psoriasisis the most common type of the disease. Each person is different, but for the most part it appears as patchy, thick flaky skin that causes itching and inflammation. If the skin is damaged skin gets injured in some other way, it is easily infected.
Guttate Psoriasis mainly affects children and young adults. It often follows after a bout of strep throat or other infections and causes red bumps on the skin. This form is often misdiagnosed as an allergic reaction rash or a fever rash. The good news is that it clears up with antibiotics, the kind taken for the strep, and it almost never comes back again.
Seborrheic Psoriasis is often mistaken for a serious cause of dandruff because it affects the scalp, ears, hairline and forehead. Some medicated shampoos work to eliminate the flaking, but it can still be problematic.
Have you ever wondered if your dry, patchy skin is simply dry skin or something much worse?
Have people told you, “you could have psoriasis”? Is your dandruff out of control and you are worried it might be something more?
There are some very basic signs and symptoms to look for. Remember, however, that the best diagnosis will come from a doctor.
- Psoriasis is red or pinkish patches of thick, raised, and/or dry skin. The most common areas affected are the scalp, elbows and knees. Psoriasis is not picky thought and it will gladly affect any area of the body it sees fit.
- Psoriasis is more likely to appear where there skin is injured. Areas of trauma, constant rubbing or scratching, and abrasions or scratches can cause flare-ups.
- Psoriasis can look different depending on each individual person. There can be small bumps or large areas of patchy, raised skin. The area can also have red patches or areas of flaky skin that is easily wiped off. If the small areas of dry skin or picked at or scratched they may start to bleed; this is another sign of psoriasis.
- Psoriasis in the genital areas is common too and the area should be dealt with gently. Keep the area clean and don’t pick or scratch at the skin. If the psoriasis shows up in moist areas like the belly button, genitals or between the buttocks, the patches will appear to be simply flat, red patches of skin. These areas can then make the psoriasis appear to be some other infection and overlooked.
- Psoriasis can also affect the skin under or around the nails. These will appear as small, white spots on the nail or as large yellowish-brown areas in the nail bed. This type of psoriasis can cause the nails to crack or break easily and, in some cases, cause the nails to fall off.
- Psoriasis of the scalp will appear to be a severe case of dandruff with white, flaky skin stuck in the hair or falling on the shoulders. This form can be difficult to hide and can be an embarrassment when it gets out of control.
Dealing with Psoriasis
Anyone who suffers from psoriasis knows the heartache and embarrassment that goes along with the disease.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes dry, scaly itching, rashes, and large red wounds. The rash is not pretty and the weepy wounds can be hard to cover up.
The embarrassment can cause you to feel uncomfortable in public and have you dressed from head to toe, even in the hottest months of summer.
Psoriasis is nothing to be embarrassed about; it is a skin condition with no cure. Though you should try to avoid scratching at all cost, it is not always possible. Anytime you have unsightly wounds or rashes, going out in public can be difficult, but it should not keep you indoors or hiding out.
Many times it may seem like you are the only person who suffers from psoriasis. The truth is many other people feel the exact same way.
Just as you cover up your rashes, other people are out there doing the same thing. The person in the chair next to you at work may suffer from psoriasis and you would never know. There are many people out there who suffer psoriasis and countless other skin problems. If it helps, you can join a local support group with others just like you.
Leaving the comfort of your home and exposing your rashes can be difficult. It’s easy to sit at home in shorts and t-shirt; you are used to the rashes and patchy skin. However, hiding out in your house can just lead to more problems.
Feelings of anxiety or depression can sink in and that added stress can actually cause the psoriasis to become even worse.
The rashes and scars from previous outbreaks will most likely be noticeable so you might as well stop the whispers and stares.
Stand up proud and tell people that you suffer from psoriasis!
Talking about the condition will also help get the awareness out there. There may be people all around who suffer from the same symptoms but never knew what they had. Talking about psoriasis will empower you to take charge over the ailment instead of allowing it to take charge over you.
Learn more about this disease and what you can do to live a life free of Psoriasis.