PsoAware2016: Fact or Fiction

Psoriasis, an autoimmune condition of the skin, affects over 125 million in the world and about 7.5 million people in the U.S. Psoriasis is a complicated disease that still needs a lot of research. You may have psoriasis yourself or know someone who does, regardless there is a lot to know. August is Psoriasis Awareness Month so it's a good time to check out these questions to do determine how much you really know about psoriasis and share with a friend.

Fact or Fiction?

Psoriasis affects Caucasians more than it does African Americans

FACT: According to a study published by the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology psoriasis appears in only 1.9% of African American while 3.9% of Caucasians are affected1. Some theories of the difference in numbers could be due to the misdiagnoses of psoriasis in many African Americans. The textbook definition for psoriasis is characterized by red, flaky, patches, but for most people of color patches of psoriasis look brown to purple, which could lead a doctor to believe it is a disease that is not psoriasis.

Fact or Fiction?

There are only 3 types of psoriasis

FICTION: There are actually 5 types of psoriasis. Can you name them? The types include plaque, pustular, guttate, inverse, and erythrodermic.

Fact or Fiction?

Plaque psoriasis is the least common form of the disease

FICTION: The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that 80% of those with the disease have plaque psoriasis, which makes it the most common form.

Fact or Fiction?

Psoriasis is a skin disease

FICTION: Psoriasis is not a skin disease, it’s an autoimmune disease that affects the skin. This disease starts from within and is due to an over-reactive immune system which for some reason creates an excessive amount of skin. In a person without psoriasis skin cells are produced within 28 days and shed away. For those with psoriasis, skin production is happening at such a fast rate the body can keep up, therefore instead of shedding the dead skin builds on top of new skin. This causes pain, inflammation, and itching plus a lot more issues.

Fact or Fiction?

Those with psoriasis have an increased chance of getting arthritis

FACT: Research shows that those with psoriasis have a 30% chance of also having psoriatic arthritis.

Fact or Fiction?

Psoriasis was once considered a contagious disease

FACT: Thousands of years ago psoriasis was misunderstood and consider a disease which was contagious. Medical historians believe that due to the description of the condition in historical documents, it was often confused for leprosy. Psoriasis was not properly classified until the 1800s by Jean-Louis Ailbert[3]. Psoriasis is not at all contagious.

Fact or Fiction?

Psoriasis is most often diagnosed in childhood

FICTION: Although psoriasis can appear at any age, the average onset for those with psoriasis occur between the ages of 20-50[4].

Fact or Fiction?

Depression is the number one comorbidity among those with psoriasis

FACT: According to the National Psoriasis Foundation depression is the biggest complaint of those who have psoriasis. It can be very hard to cope with a disease like psoriasis because it is very visible and for some hard to hide. There is also a lot of stigma involved with the disease such as the misconception of it being contagious, and it also not being aesthetically appealing to the eye.

Fact or Fiction?

Women are more affected by psoriasis than men

FICTION: Men and women are affected by this disease at the same rates.

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