Discovering you have psoriasis is often enough of a blow by itself, and the worry of is psoriasis contagious only adds to the confusion and misery. Many people don’t really know much about psoriasis until they actually find out they have it themselves, because it is not a subject we hear much about. This naturally leads to the confusion and mis-understanding that someone experiences when first diagnosed, and it is understandable to worry about any contagious aspects of the disease.
The question of ‘Is psoriasis contagious?’ is important to sufferers in two ways: firstly in trying to identify how they acquired the condition themselves, and secondly in worrying if they may pass it on to others too. In addition, there is also the fear that others who notice the scaly patches on the skin will act differently around you for fear of catching the disease themselves.
To answer this question, it is important to understand what actually is psoriasis. Contagious skin diseases tend to be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungus. Psoriasis is caused by none of these, and that alone tells us that psoriasis is absolutely not contagious. It is quite simply impossible for the condition to pass from person to person through any amount of physical contact.
The causes of psoriasis manifest way below the surface of the skin, within the body’s own immune system which we usually rely on to fight disease. A malfunction in the immune system is to blame for a rapid production of skin cells, up to 10 times faster than normal. These skin cells still take the same amount of time to die and shed, so a build-up of skin cells occurs on the skin resulting in the most common type of psoriasis: plaque psoriasis.
What causes this problem with the immune system is still unclear, although it is believed genetics are involved making psoriasis possibly hereditary. Other causes attributed to psoriasis are allergies, stress, and poor nutrition (to name a few). Tackling the causes of psoriasis can be tricky because of the wide range of possible causes, and medicines prescribed for the condition tend to treat only the symptoms rather than the root cause.
Once they realise that psoriasis is not contagious, most will then have to decide if they want to live with the condition indefinitely or take steps to cure themselves of the disease. The worry for many is the mis-understanding surrounding a skin disease like psoriasis, and that people we come into contact with will no doubt also wonder is psoriasis contagious. For the most part, concentrating your energies on healing your condition will do you far greater good than worrying what others may think.