Psoriasis is a visible skin condition, that affects approximately 1% of the South African population.This condition is identified by red, scaly patches on the skin that can itch, bleed, and cause severe discomfort and pain.

For people living with psoriasis, there is no escaping their condition. The physical and emotional toll the condition takes is only made worse by the social stigma, misconceptions, and rejection faced on a daily basis.2

Here are the facts.

Myth: Psoriasis is contagious

Fact: This common misconception is not true.Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition,4 not an infection.3 Psoriasis happens when the body produces skin cells too rapidly, causing skin cells to build up into the red, scaly patches visible for everyone to see.5 It is impossible to ‘catch’ psoriasis by being in contact with someone who has the condition.3

Myth: Bad hygiene causes psoriasis
Fact: 
Although psoriasis is a skin condition, it is not caused by poor hygiene.3 Researchers have determined that genetics and the immune system are the key factors in the development of this condition.What’s more, it’s possible for people to develop psoriasis, even if it’s not a family condition.7

Myth: It’s just a skin condition
Fact:
 Psoriasis is much more than a skin condition. Even though it affects the body’s largest organ, the swelling and inflammation caused by psoriasis can affect other organs and body tissues.4, 6, 8 In fact, psoriasis can be devastating to the body. People diagnosed with psoriasis are often overweight, have higher cholesterol and are at risk of having a heart attack or stroke, leading to premature death.1

Myth: Psoriasis isn’t linked to other conditions

Fact: Many people who need effective treatment for their psoriasis can’t access treatment, as a result of medical aids not always recognising the disease as part of their prescribed minimum benefits. When this happens, their condition can cause additional medical concerns, which can be serious.5 Research indicates that people living with psoriasis are at a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, psoriatic arthritis, high blood pressure, mental health conditions and other autoimmune diseases including sclerosis and Crohn’s Disease.4

Myth: The condition is not treatable
Fact:
 Although there is no cure for psoriasis, treatment is available. Treatment options depend on the severity of the psoriasis and can be treated with topical ointments, UVB therapy, systemics and biologics.3

Myth: Clear skin isn’t achievable
Fact: 
Researchers are working tirelessly to develop new and effective treatments for psoriasis. One of the biggest breakthroughs is a new biologic that makes clear skin achievable for long periods, in moderate to severe psoriasis cases. 

People living with this devastating condition deserve access to effective treatment. If you’re living with psoriasis, talk to your doctor and ask them to help you get treatment that will achieve clear skin for longer and live a fulfilling life.

Psoriasis is a lifelong condition, and by busting the myths and misconceptions, people living with psoriasis can receive support, seek help from their dermatologists, access effective treatment, and enjoy life with clear skin. Visit the #MoreThanSkinDeep Facebook page to learn more about psoriasis and how you can show your support to those living with this condition.

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