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Even though psoriasis is the most common autoimmune condition in the United States, many people are still unaware of the truth behind this condition that causes small, flaky skin sores. Some individuals simply confuse the symptoms of psoriasis with those of other skin problems like acne and contagious rashes. When people with psoriasis hear these common misconceptions, it can cause them to become even more embarrassed or self-conscious about the appearance of their skin. Continue reading to learn about the truth behind these myths.

Myth: Psoriasis is contagious

The symptoms of psoriasis typically include the development of a painful, itchy rash, so many people mistakenly believe that exposure to someone with psoriasis can cause them to develop similar symptoms. In reality, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning it is caused internally by a problem with the body’s immune system. Since psoriasis isn’t a surface skin infection, it can’t be spread through skin-to-skin contact. A person’s risk of developing psoriasis depends on his or her unique genetic makeup.

Myth: Psoriasis is triggered by poor hygiene

Certain environmental factors can cause psoriasis outbreaks to flare up on the skin’s surface. However, this is not linked to poor hygiene. No matter how much a person cleanses his or her skin, it is the body’s level of stress and hormones that influence whether the skin will develop psoriasis lesions.

Myth: Psoriasis is not a serious medical condition

In addition to causing flakey skin patches, psoriasis can cause physical pain and powerful itching sensations. Approximately 10 to 30 percent of those with psoriasis develop inflammatory arthritis, which can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in their joints. Because psoriasis is a chronic skin condition , it never goes away. Individuals who develop psoriasis can only take steps to try and control their symptoms and outbreaks.

For more than 40 years, Arlington Dermatology has helped patients in the Arlington Heights area protect the health of their skin. Visit our website or call 847-392-5440 to schedule a visit with our dermatology team. We treat a range of skin conditions, including psoriasis, skin cancer, and rosacea.

Psoriasis on arm