Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the country, affecting 7.5 million people. Yet there are still many misconceptions about the disease among the general public. The goal of psoriasis awareness month is to educate people and dispel any myths about the disease.
"Is it contagious?" is probably the most common question people have about psoriasis. The answer is no. Psoriasis is not a transmittable disease, and while scientists still don't know what exactly causes psoriasis, they do know that it has to do with a person's immune system and genetics.
In general, psoriasis causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. The five types of psoriasis and the attributes of each are listed below:
- Plaque psoriasis: Appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells.
- Guttate: Appears as small, red, separate spots on the skin.
- Inverse: Are very red lesions that may appear smooth and shiny in body folds.
- Pustular: Show as white pustules (blisters of noninfectious pus) surrounded by red skin.
- Erythrodermic: This consists of widespread, fiery redness over most of the body.
Unfortunately, psoriasis can really affect a person's quality of life, especially if they develop psoriatic arthritis as well. People with psoriasis have to deal with the stress, itching, discomfort, and depression that sometimes comes with the disease. Plus, many people mention how it affects their relationships and work, too. Behavioral Health Services can help people dealing with these issues with services like group and individual counseling, as well as stress reduction therapy. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 307.688.5000.
While there is no cure for psoriasis yet, there are plenty of different treatment options such as medications, phototherapy, oral treatments, and topical ointments or creams. Keep in mind though that a treatment that works for one person might not work for another. If you develop psoriasis you can work with your doctor to find a treatment, or treatments, that work best for you to reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
If you think you have psoriasis you should consult with a dermatologist or health care provider right away. You can schedule an appointment with family medicine physicians Dr. Nathan Tracey or
Dr. Ryan Noonan in the
Campbell County Medical Group by either calling 307.688.3636 or visiting the
To learn more about psoriasis you can visit the National Psoriasis Foundation.