What is Psoriasis, and is it Contagious?
Psoriasis by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images

What is Psoriasis, and is it Contagious?

If you’re dealing with psoriasis, the first thing you need to understand is that you’re not alone. Millions of people worldwide struggle with this condition, and there are plenty of resources and committed medical professionals who are ready and willing to help you. All you need to do is keep an open mind, reach out, and take the initiative. The first step is to learn more about your condition. Only through education can you accurately and efficiently assess and treat your psoriasis. Many people wonder if psoriasis is contagious.

In truth, there are many misconceptions about psoriasis. This can be confusing and distressing for people who have psoriasis, but it can affect other people as well. People who don’t understand psoriasis may attach a negative stigma to those suffering from the condition. In some instances, they might even mistakenly keep their distance from these individuals because they fear being somehow “infected.” In addition, there are many other misconceptions about psoriasis that can impact the effectiveness of our treatment plans and our relationships with other people. 

The good news is that there is plenty of hope for those dealing with this condition. New research and treatment techniques are constantly being developed, and the future for psoriasis patients has never looked brighter. You don’t even have to wait to take advantage of these treatment techniques. Act right now, and you can take advantage of plenty of helpful psoriasis treatment techniques. 

Your first step should be to learn more about this condition. By doing so, you can feel more confident about your future, health, and self-esteem. Continue reading, and you’ll gain a much more complete understanding of psoriasis and all of its various considerations – including whether or not this condition is contagious.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is classified as an immune-mediated disease, and it causes visible plaques and scales on the skin. These are signs of inflammation caused by psoriasis. What makes psoriasis unique is that researchers still aren’t quite sure about its cause. We do know that it causes inflammation and disrupts the immune system. The skin problems associated with psoriasis are probably the most notable symptoms, and they are the most common cause of concern for patients. While we don’t fully understand what causes the condition itself, we have a pretty good idea of why the skin seems to act in this way. When the immune system becomes overactive, skin cell growth is accelerated. In a normal body, skin cells shed within a month. 

These skin cells complete the entire growth cycle for patients with psoriasis within just three or four days. Not only that, but these skin cells fail to shed properly, and this leads to the buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of the body. Unfortunately, this leads to considerable pain and discomfort, as patients often report burning, itching, or stinging sensations. 

In some cases, psoriasis may affect other parts of the body and not just the skin. The condition may impact various organs and tissues throughout the body, and it may also lead to a particular type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. About one in three people with this condition also develop psoriatic arthritis. This can lead to even greater levels of pain and discomfort, as patients often report swelling and stiffness around the joints. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage. 

Psoriasis on arm and hand
Image by Eszter Miller from Pixabay

Psoriasis is More Common Than You Think

People with psoriasis tend to think of their condition as incredibly rare and unfortunate, but this isn’t really the case. According to various studies, as many as 8 million residents of the United States suffer from psoriasis. This means that someone you know probably has psoriasis or has dealt with it in the past. 

What is the Difference Between Eczema and Psoriasis?

Patients often confuse eczema and psoriasis. While these two skin conditions share many of the same symptoms, there are also a few important distinctions that you need to be aware of. 

Here’s a basic rundown of eczema vs psoriasis:

  • Psoriasis scales are red, while eczema patches can be brown or gray
  • Eczema patches are not as well-defined as psoriasis scales
  • Itchiness is much more common with eczema
  • Eczema is closely related to allergies, while psoriasis affects the entire body
  • The cause of psoriasis is not clearly understood, while researchers are relatively confident that eczema is triggered by or related to allergies

As you can see, both conditions have several differences that you should be aware of. If you’re unsure whether you have eczema or psoriasis, you should speak with a qualified healthcare professional. These doctors can accurately assess your condition and prescribe the correct treatments. 

Is Psoriasis Contagious?

One of the biggest misconceptions about psoriasis is that it’s contagious. This simply isn’t true, and you should rest assured that you are not a risk to other people in your immediate vicinity. If people believe that you are somehow a risk to them, point them in the right direction and show them reputable articles that prove this is not true. There is no way you can catch psoriasis from another person – even if you come into close contact with that person’s skin. Once again, we do not fully understand what causes this condition, but we know that it’s usually triggered by something other than human contact. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re feeling stressed out about your psoriasis, know that there are people out there who have it much worse than you. Yes, psoriasis can be a frustrating and problematic medical condition to deal with. But hey, at least you’re not dealing with something life-threatening or disabling. It’s always a good idea to look on the bright side, and this is easy to accomplish when you consider all of the various advances in psoriasis treatment that have happened within the last few years. Soon enough, psoriasis will be a thing of the past. Until then, you have plenty of incredible treatment options to help you deal with this issue. 

Featured Psoriasis by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 Alpha Stock Images