An autoimmune skin condition, psoriasis results in an inflammation of the skin leading to itchy, silvery white scales and red lesions, which can appear anywhere on your body. It affects more than 7.4 million adults in the US alone. [1]

While the online world is full of advice and natural remedies that can relieve that itch, there are also many myths about the condition.

This World Psoriasis Day(October 29), we debunk some myths about the disease and uncover the facts for you.

#Myth 1: You Can Get Psoriasis From An Infected Person
Psoriasis is not a contagious disease. In fact, it can be a genetic condition that you inherited from your parents. A miscalculation of your immune system tells it to produce new skin cells faster than normal, which makes it difficult for your skin to shed the old skin and leads to the scaly formations. As a result, the dead skin cells keep collecting and result in redness, itching, and soreness. [2]

#Myth 2: The Scales Mostly Appear On Your Scalp, Or Elbows
The scales can appear anywhere on your body, even in your ears and mouth in severe cases.

#Myth 3: A Change In Season Does Not Affect Psoriasis Symptoms
Cold temperatures and dry air can worsen your psoriasis symptoms. In fact, getting out in the sun and getting exposed to vitamin D can help soothe the itching and curb the flare-ups. If going out in the sun is not an option, you can try light therapy where doctors use ultraviolet light to control the spread. [3]

# Myth 4: Stress Is Not The Only Psoriasis Trigger
 Stress is a definite trigger when it comes to psoriasis. The American Academy of Dermatology says that stress and psoriasis go hand-in-hand and stress management should be a crucial part of your psoriasis plan. The more you stress, the worse your psoriasis will become, making you stress more and then get trapped in this vicious cycle. Calm your mind and try other alternative healing methods such as yoga to control your symptoms. [4]

# Myth 5: Hot Water Will Help Ease Psoriasis Itching
Bathing in hot water will in fact worsen your psoriasis symptoms and cause more itching and soreness, as it can dry out your skin and leave it further inflamed.

# Myth 6: Psoriasis And Severe Dandruff Are Same
While psoriasis and dandruff both cause flaking and severe itching, they are not the same condition and definitely don’t have the same treatment plan. If you have dandruff, the flakes will be greasy and yellowish while the flakes that occur as a result of psoriasis will be white and powdery. [5]

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Read More:
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Can Homeopathy Help Manage Psoriasis Better?

1. Psoriasis prevalence among adults in the United States. 1: Rachakonda TD, Schupp CW, Armstrong AW. Psoriasis prevalence among adults in the United States. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Mar;70(3):512-6. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2013.11.013. Epub 2014 Jan 2. PubMed PMID: 24388724.(Accessed 26 Oct 2015)

2. Researchers identify gene which causes susceptibility to psoriasis. Site (Accessed 26 Oct 2015)

3. Vitamin D status in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis. 1: Gisondi P, Rossini M, Di Cesare A, Idolazzi L, Farina S, Beltrami G, Peris K, Girolomoni G. Vitamin D status in patients with chronic plaque psoriasis. Br J Dermatol. 2012 Mar;166(3):505-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10699.x. Epub 2012 Feb 6. PubMed PMID: 22013980. (Accessed 26 Oct 2015)

4. Psoriasis: A stress related disease. 1: Farber EM, Nall L. Psoriasis: a stress-related disease. Cutis. 1993 May;51(5):322-6. Review. PubMed PMID: 8513683. (Accessed 26 Oct 2015)

5. Answer: can you identify this condition? Gordon, Danielle, and Benjamin Barankin. “Answer: Can You Identify This Condition?” Canadian Family Physician 55.2 (2009): 166. Print. (Accessed 26 Oct 2015)