What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition marked by red, itchy, and scaly patches of the skin. Excessive growth of the epidermal layer of the skin is the characteristic of psoriasis. This happens due to the abnormal production of skin cells and their accumulation. Normally, skin cells are replaced every 28 to 30 days, but, in Psoriasis, the skin cells are replaced every 3 to 5 days. This may happen due to the premature maturation of keratinocytes due to some inflammatory changes caused by the immune cells or it can result due to a defect in the regulatory T cells (that regulate the rate of skin cell multiplication). There exist many misconceptions about psoriasis which you should be aware of, and learn the fact or truth. Let’s have a look at the misconceptions about psoriasis.
9 Misconceptions About Psoriasis
- Psoriasis only affects adults:
Psoriasis can affect anyone, regardless of age. But, the first occurrence of psoriasis is mostly observed between 15 to 35 years of age. Psoriasis affects both males as well as females at about the same rate.
- Psoriasis only affects your skin:
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition (abnormal immune response to a normal function of the body) that produces raised, red, and scaly patches on the skin. Thus, it is a manifestation of an internal disharmony on the skin. Psoriasis typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees, or scalp, though it can appear on any location. These patches can cause itching, burning, and stinging discomfort. About 40% of individuals with this ailment experience joint inflammation that causes arthritis-like symptoms which is a condition called psoriatic arthritis.
- Psoriasis is contagious:
The fact is that psoriasis is not contagious. It cannot spread by touch, physical contact, or by sexual contact.
- There is no effective treatment for psoriasis:
Though psoriasis is not a curable condition, but it can be treated and managed effectively. Many of its symptoms can be relieved, and its further progress can be prevented or slowed down. In some cases, the psoriatic patient can be put into a long-term remission with entirely normal skin. Psoriasis is not a superficial disease of the skin; it is a result of the faulty immune system which needs to be corrected. Along with the autoimmune factor, genetic predisposition also plays an important role in the development of this condition. Thus, psoriasis disease calls for a treatment that addresses the disturbances at the immunological and genetic levels. Homeopathy has the potential to stimulate the body’s natural healing capacity and restore the disturbed immune system to normalcy. Homeopathic medicines work and address the root cause of the disease and restore the deviated immunity to normal.
- If someone in your family has psoriasis, you too will get it:
Psoriasis is an inherited disease, but, the fact is that, even if you have the gene, you might never get psoriasis. Just 2%-3% of people with the gene may experience the disease.
- People with psoriasis should stay out of the sun:
Usually, psoriasis aggravates in the winter, and its complaints are more during the winter or cold weather. In the summer, usually, the relief in psoriasis is better. At times, being in the sun and the sweat may cause irritation and itching of the affected parts.
- If you have psoriasis, you should avoid baths and wash your hair infrequently:
Well, it’s not true. The fact is that washing your hair regularly with a mild medicated shampoo helps clear the scales on the scalp and reduces the itching. Swimming in chlorinated water should be avoided as chlorine can irritate the skin and aggravate psoriasis. Baths usually contain oils and salts that soothe the skin with psoriasis.
- Food can trigger a psoriasis flare-up:
Psoriasis is an inflammatory ailment, so following an anti-inflammatory diet might help reduce its symptoms. Dairy is associated with inflammation. So, avoid milk and milk products. Psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of developing heart and vascular diseases. Red meat and egg yolk contain a polyunsaturated fat called arachidonic acid. So, avoid eating red meat and egg yolk. Prefer to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, such as cherries, berries, carrots, and leafy greens
- People with psoriatic arthritis should avoid exercise:
Painful joints with swelling and stiffness are the main symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis. The pain and stiffness in the joints can be reduced with some exercises that promote a full range of movement in joints. Regular exercise can also help maintain the strength in your muscles which helps make daily tasks easier. Also, it can help you to maintain a good posture. But, you should avoid doing high-impact exercises, such as running and heavy-weight lifting when you have psoriatic arthritis because those can harm your joints.
Now that you know these misconceptions about psoriasis, correct your understanding if you had any of these misconceptions in mind. If you happen to suffer from psoriasis any time, opt for homeopathy for psoriasis treatment without a second thought.
- Written by Dr. Pooja Gavas, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah