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Quiz: Psoriasis Myths and Facts

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psoriasis on girls leg

Psoriasis is contagious.

psoriasis on girls leg

Psoriasis is contagious.

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Explanation: Psoriasis may look contagious. Most people who have it have thick, red skin covered by flaky, silvery-white patches called scales. But you can't spread the skin condition. Psoriasis develops when a person's immune system sends the wrong signals that tell skin cells to grow too fast. Those skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin.

psoriasis on girls leg

Psoriasis affects only your skin.

psoriasis on girls leg

Psoriasis affects only your skin.

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Explanation: There are several different kinds of psoriasis, and most cause lesions, blisters, or small red spots on the skin. But psoriasis is more than a skin condition. Up to 30% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, a serious disease, which can cause painful, stiff, and swollen joints.

The red and painful bumps and blisters can also have an emotional toll. People with psoriasis may be self-conscious about their skin. Gentle makeup can sometimes help. Talk to your doctor about treatment.

psoriasis on girls leg

You can treat psoriasis with lasers.

psoriasis on girls leg

You can treat psoriasis with lasers.

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Explanation: Lasers can target areas of the skin with mild to moderate psoriasis. You'll need several sessions and may have some bruising or sunburn. Psoriasis also can be treated with ointments, lotions, creams, shampoos, and prescription pills, shots, and IV infusions.

Another option is phototherapy (or light therapy), where you expose your skin to ultraviolet light. You start out with treatments at a doctor's office and then may follow up with a portable light at home. The UV light can slow the growth of affected cells.

psoriasis on girls leg

Some foods can trigger a psoriasis flare-up.

psoriasis on girls leg

Some foods can trigger a psoriasis flare-up.

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Explanation: Some people say certain foods trigger their psoriasis, but scientific studies haven't found a connection. Strep throat, cold, dry weather, and stress, on the other hand, are among common psoriasis triggers.

Other triggers include skin injuries -- like a cut, scratch, or bad sunburn -- and taking certain medications. What if your skin gets worse after eating a particular food? Cut it out of your diet for a few weeks and see what happens. And talk to your doctor about a healthy diet.

psoriasis on girls leg

If you have psoriasis, you shouldn't use nail polish.

psoriasis on girls leg

If you have psoriasis, you shouldn't use nail polish.

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Explanation: Up to half of people with psoriasis see changes in their nails. Nails can separate from the nail bed and become thick, discolored, and deformed. Although nail polish won't protect your nails from damage, it will at least make them look better. Keeping nails short and wearing gloves when working with your hands also can help.

psoriasis on girls leg

Psoriasis gets worse in:

psoriasis on girls leg

Psoriasis gets worse in:

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Explanation: The combination of dry air, colder temperatures, and less sunlight can make psoriasis worse in the winter. Some people say their psoriasis gets better in the summer, when there's more sunshine and more skin is exposed to the sun. Using a home humidifier and moisturizing frequently can help relieve some symptoms.

psoriasis on girls leg

If you have psoriasis, you should take a shower instead of a bath.

psoriasis on girls leg

If you have psoriasis, you should take a shower instead of a bath.

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Explanation: Some people find that taking a warm bath with bath salts or oils helps ease their psoriasis symptoms. Others say cold showers help with itching. The key is keeping skin clean and well moisturized.

If you have psoriasis, shower or bathe soon after a dip in a pool or hot tub and slather on moisturizer. Chlorine can irritate and dry out skin.

psoriasis on girls leg

Exercise can help psoriasis.

psoriasis on girls leg

Exercise can help psoriasis.

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Explanation: Exercise not only helps your heart, lungs, and mood, it might keep your skin healthy. A recent study of more than 87,000 nurses suggests that vigorous exercise -- that doesn't include walking -- can lower your chance of having psoriasis.

If you have psoriatic arthritis, moderate exercise might improve your range of motion, ease joint pain and stiffness, and give you more endurance and flexibility.

psoriasis on girls leg

If you have psoriasis, the best time to apply moisturizer is:

psoriasis on girls leg

If you have psoriasis, the best time to apply moisturizer is:

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Explanation: Keeping your skin moist reduces redness and itching and helps it heal. Using heavy creams and ointments locks water into skin, which is particularly important after bathing, showering, and washing your hands. Stay away from moisturizers with fragrance, which might irritate your skin.

psoriasis on girls leg

You're more likely to get psoriasis if someone in your family has it.

psoriasis on girls leg

You're more likely to get psoriasis if someone in your family has it.

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Explanation: People who get psoriasis usually have at least one person in their family who has it, too. But not everyone with a relative with psoriasis will get it. About 7.5 million people in the U.S. have psoriasis, making it the most common autoimmune disease in the country.

psoriasis on girls leg

Psoriasis usually shows up on your:

psoriasis on girls leg

Psoriasis usually shows up on your:

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Explanation: Psoriasis generally shows up on the scalp, knees, or elbows. But you can get it anywhere on your body, including your eyelids, ears, mouth, feet, and nails.

Your skin is more sensitive in some places than in others. How doctors treat psoriasis depends on how severe it is and where it's located on your body.

psoriasis on girls leg

How can you tell the difference between scalp psoriasis and dandruff?

psoriasis on girls leg

How can you tell the difference between scalp psoriasis and dandruff?

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Explanation: At least half of the people who have psoriasis have it on their scalp, and psoriasis there can look like dandruff. Psoriasis and dandruff both cause your scalp to itch. Psoriasis, however, looks powdery with a silver sheen, while dandruff is yellowish and greasy.

psoriasis on girls leg

How fast does your body make new skin cells?

psoriasis on girls leg

How fast does your body make new skin cells?

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Explanation: Normal skin cells are replaced about every 28 to 30 days, but for people with psoriasis, that process is a lot faster. If you have psoriasis, new skin cells grow and move to the surface of your skin every three to four days.

Silvery scales are created by the build-up of old cells being replaced by new ones. Affected skin can be itchy, dry, and painful, and can crack and bleed.

psoriasis on girls leg

If you have psoriasis, you're at a higher risk for:

psoriasis on girls leg

If you have psoriasis, you're at a higher risk for:

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Explanation: A University of Pennsylvania study found that a 60-year-old with severe psoriasis had a 36% higher chance of a heart attack than a 60-year-old without psoriasis.

People with psoriasis are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with a heart attack or other disease connected to hardening of the arteries.

psoriasis on girls leg

Most people outgrow psoriasis.

psoriasis on girls leg

Most people outgrow psoriasis.

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Explanation: Psoriasis can't be cured. But it can be controlled. Managing psoriasis usually involves a combination of treatments and lifestyle changes. Taking good care of yourself and avoiding things that can make psoriasis worse can reduce the number of flare-ups.

psoriasis on girls leg
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