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Psoriasis Quiz: Myths and Facts

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You can catch psoriasis from other people.

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You can catch psoriasis from other people.

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It’s not contagious. Certain genes make you more likely to get it. If you have this condition, a glitch in your immune system tells your skin to grow too fast. Your body can’t shed these skin cells fast enough.  Instead, they pile up, causing redness with flaky, silvery white scales.  Your skin can become sore and itchy.

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Scales and irritated skin usually appear on your:

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Scales and irritated skin usually appear on your:

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Symptoms can show up anywhere on your body, though -- even your eyelids, mouth, and ears. Your doctor may give you pills or creams, or suggest other things -- like getting more sunlight -- to help you feel better. It all depends on how severe your case is and where it is.

The climate can affect your psoriasis, so stay out of the:

The climate can affect your psoriasis, so stay out of the:

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Dry air and cold temperatures can be tough on anyone’s skin. If you have psoriasis, it’s important to keep your skin from getting dry. When it’s cold, you may need to use moisturizer more often. A humidifier will help, too. Lots of people with the skin condition say it gets better in the summer, when they can get out in the sun.  

 

Another option is phototherapy (light therapy), where you expose your skin to ultraviolet light. The UV light can slow the growth of affected cells. You first have treatments at a doctor's office. Your doctor might have you follow up with a portable light at home.

Too much of this can bring on a flare-up: 

Too much of this can bring on a flare-up: 

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Symptoms come and go, but some things can trigger them. Stress, strep throat, and certain medications can all cause a flare. Skin injuries like a cut, scratch, or bad sunburn can also bring on symptoms. It isn’t clear if there's a link between food and this disorder. But if your skin gets worse after eating a certain food, you might want to stop eating it for a few weeks and see what happens.

 

Strep throat; cold, dry weather; and stress are common psoriasis triggers.

 

Skin injuries -- like a cut, scratch, or bad sunburn -- and certain medications can also cause flares.

 

Showers are bad for psoriasis.

Showers are bad for psoriasis.

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Some people find that bathing in oils or bath salt soothes their skin. Don’t use water that’s too hot, though. That can irritate your skin and make it drier. Keep it to less than 10 minutes, too. And if you go for a swim in a pool, always rinse off afterward, because the chlorine in the water can also dry your skin.

Psoriasis can also affect your:

Psoriasis can also affect your:

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Up to half of people with the condition see changes in their nails, which can separate from the skin of the nail bed and change in thickness and color. To protect your nails, keep them short and wear gloves when you work with your hands. Wear cotton or vinyl gloves, not latex. Prescription paint-on nail treatments can also help. It is OK to wear regular nail polish, too.

When’s the best time to put on moisturizer if you have psoriasis?

When’s the best time to put on moisturizer if you have psoriasis?

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You can also cool lotions in the fridge to give your skin an extra treat after a shower. Keep your skin moist to help with redness and itching. This will also help it heal. Heavy creams and ointments lock in water. Cooking oils and shortening also work. Stay away from scented lotions and heavy fragrances, though. They could irritate your skin.

 

Make sure to shower or bathe soon after a dip in a pool or hot tub, and use lots of moisturizer. Chlorine can irritate and dry out skin.

Is it really bad dandruff, or psoriasis? One clue is: 

Is it really bad dandruff, or psoriasis? One clue is: 

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Dandruff and scalp psoriasis share some of the same symptoms, but they're not the same condition. An itchy scalp and flakes are common to both. But dandruff flakes are greasy and yellowish, while psoriasis looks powdery and has a silver shine. If you have the latter, your doctor may suggest a medicated shampoo or give you medicine to put on your scalp.

 

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

You should wash your hair daily to ease your psoriasis.

You should wash your hair daily to ease your psoriasis.

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There's no need to worry about it making your scalp more irritated. Medicated shampoo can soothe your symptoms, and washing helps get rid of extra scales.  

If you don’t have the condition by age 40, you’re not going to get it.

If you don’t have the condition by age 40, you’re not going to get it.

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It can start at any time. Most people start to show symptoms between the ages of 15 and 30. And most of those who get it have it by 40 -- but it is possible for psoriasis to appear when you're older, especially between 50 and 60 years old.

 

People who get psoriasis usually have at least one person in their family who has it, too. Still, that doesn't mean everyone who has a relative with the condition will get it.

This spice may help your symptoms.

This spice may help your symptoms.

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Here’s some good news if you’re a curry fan. Diets rich in this bitter yellow spice might lower the inflammation inside your body that fuels psoriasis. Some people have found that turmeric helps when their symptoms flare. Talk to your doctor first if you’re thinking about taking it in pill form, or if you want to try other supplements.

 

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

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Way to go! When it comes to separating psoriasis fact from fiction, you’re got it covered.

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