Psoriasis causes red, scaly patches to develop on the skin. These can resemble a rash, which may raise concerns about getting it from someone else or passing it to others.
But the good news is that this dermatology condition is not contagious. Psoriasis cannot be acquired by touching someone who has it.
Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides advanced skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and surrounding communities.
What Causes Psoriasis?
While the symptoms of psoriasis manifest on the skin, the condition is actually an issue with the immune system, known as an autoimmune disease. This means that the body’s defenses react at the wrong time or overreact affecting the body inside and out.
In people with psoriasis, the immune system causes skin cells to grow at a much more rapid rate than normal. They accumulate too rapidly and develop thick, scaly lesions.
There are various forms of diseases, and the most common one is plaque psoriasis. In this condition, lesions usually develop on the elbows, scalp, and knees but can manifest at any location on the body.
These patches feel inflamed, sore, itchy, and may bleed or crack. Other forms of the condition may cause tiny red spots, pus-filled bumps, or red scaling patches all over.
How Do People Get Psoriasis?
Scientists are aware that specific genes are linked to psoriasis. Therefore, if someone in a person’s family has the condition, they may have the same genes and may be more likely to get it themselves.
A person may have genes that predispose them to psoriasis. But the condition will also need a trigger to set it off. It could be something physical such as a scratch, cut, bad sunburn, or an infection such as strep throat.
Other common triggers are stress, certain drugs, and cold weather (which can lead to dry and cracked skin). However, being around a person with psoriasis does not trigger the condition.
Upon being triggered, psoriasis becomes a chronic, or long-lasting condition, which means that most people will have it for the rest of their lives. But they may be able to manage it with medicines and other treatment approaches.
What About Physical Contact?
People who had psoriasis were considered contagious before doctors understood the reasons for its development. In fact, this condition was often confused with leprosy.
We now know that one cannot develop psoriasis by brushing up against someone with the condition. Additionally, it cannot be acquired from kissing, sexual activity, or swimming in the same water.
Psoriasis develops due to genetic predisposition, and not because of poor hygiene, diet or lifestyle, or other habits. Also, it cannot be transferred to or acquired from others.
Despite this, a significant stigma surrounds psoriasis. This can make it challenging for individuals who have it. They may feel uneasy when people stare at their outbreaks or avoid touching them, and they may want to conceal their lesions under long clothing.
People with psoriasis can help put an end to the misunderstandings and confusion by talking freely with their friends, family, and colleagues about the condition.
In case you know someone who has it, ensure that that they know that their condition does not impact your opinion of them or make you not want to be around them.
Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic receives patients from Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brooksville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, Sarasota, Palm Harbor, Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas for a wide range of skin treatments.
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.