Nearly 7.5 million people in the U.S. are affected by psoriasis. There has been more research done for psoriasis in the past 10 years than ever before. As we find out more about the disease, we are able to debunk some of the misinformation people have about the disease.
Myth #1: Psoriasis is simply dry skin.
I have encountered a lot of people with the misconception that psoriasis is just dry skin. While dry skin is a symptom of psoriasis, it’s not the main focus of the disease. The truth is that psoriasis isn’t just skin deep, it’s due to an over-reactive immune system that sends signals to the body, forcing it to create unnecessary skin cells, making the skin appear dry, red, inflamed, and flaky.
Myth #2: Psoriasis can be solved by moisturizing.
In my experience, when having a conversation with someone about psoriasis, they often ask if moisturizing or using certain types of over-the-counter treatments will make my disease go away. Having psoriasis is not as simple as rubbing lotion on it to make it go away. While moisturizing is an important part of keeping one’s skin in the best condition one possibly can, it does not make the disease disappear; it only helps alleviate some of the symptoms. I will say that my skin looks a lot worse if I don’t moisturize, but no matter how much I moisturize, the disease is still present.
Myth #3: Treatments for psoriasis are "one size fits all."
I have met numerous people with psoriasis, and they all have different treatments that work for them. My psoriasis has been hard to control; medicines that work for the majority of people don’t work for me. Psoriasis is a very complicated disease. There are a variety of triggers that can cause a flare-up in someone who has psoriasis. Therefore, there are a variety of treatments for those who have the disease. A treatment that works for one person’s psoriasis may have no effect for another’s condition.
Myth #4: Psoriasis is equivalent to having eczema.
When people see my skin and question it, they usually ask if what they see is eczema. I remember as a child lying to people telling them I had eczema because that was a disease that most people knew about, and didn’t require me to explain any further. Although both diseases affect the skin, eczema is more common than psoriasis. Nearly 7.5 million people in the U.S. have psoriasis, compared with the 30 million affected by eczema.