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Idées reçues psoriasis.

Misconceptions about Psoriasis

For many, psoriasis creates daily discomfort with the appearance of red patches and scales in various parts of the body. However, this disease is subject to various misconceptions. We have examined 10 of these in this article.

Misconception #1: Psoriasis is a contagious disease.


According to a study, 1 in 3 people would avoid kissing those suffering from psoriasis for fear of contamination. However, psoriasis is not caused by any virus or bacteria. It cannot be transmitted through physical contact, be it direct or indirect. It is a multifactorial disease, the mechanisms of which are not yet perfectly established. Psoriasis results from a dysfunction of the immune system. It develops in individuals with predisposing genetic factors. It can also be triggered or worsened by certain factors, such as stress, lifestyle habits, etc.

Misconception #2: Psoriasis is a psychosomatic disease.


Psychological factors, such as stress, are not in themselves a cause of disease. However, they can exacerbate the disease by promoting the occurrence of inflammatory flare-ups.

Misconception #3: Psoriasis only affects the skin.


It is true that psoriasis primarily generates visible skin symptoms on the knees, scalp, lumbar region, and elbows. However, it can also affect the joints as is the case with the psoriatic arthritis. In this instance, the absence of treatment can lead to irreversible damage.

Misconception #4: Psoriasis only affects adults.


Psoriasis is not exclusive to adults. Children and babies can also be affected. It happens that an infant may show signs of psoriasis within the first few months of their life. It is characterized by the appearance of red patches and inflammatory reactions on the area of skin located under the diaper: this is referred to as diaper psoriasis. This often appears during the first two years of the infant's life.

Misconception #5: Psoriasis can be of genetic origin.


Psoriasis is in 30% of cases linked to the presence of genetic factors. These genetic variants are responsible for an immune system disorder causing chronic skin inflammation, as well as an overproduction of keratinocytes. For a child, the risk of suffering from this pathology is around 5 to 10% if one of their parents has it. The major gene involved is the PSORS1 locus. Other minor genes also play a role.

Misconception #6: The consumption of certain foods triggers psoriasis.


Foods containing lactose, gluten, or other potentially irritating substances are not responsible for psoriasis. Reducing the intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids also does not prevent this disease. However, an excess ofalcohol and tobacco is a contributing factor.

Misconception #7: Psoriasis is due to a lack of hygiene.


Lack of hygiene is not a cause of psoriasis onset. The thickening of the skin results from an excessive renewal of keratinocytes. The redness, on the other hand, is caused by skin inflammation. It is important to note that the excessive use of unsuitable soap exacerbates the symptoms of psoriasis with intensifying itching. Often, the irritations are hard to bear.

Misconception #8: Psoriasis and sports are incompatible.


Engaging in a physical activity can, on the contrary, reduce stress, which is a worsening factor for psoriasis. For patients particularly affected by plaques, exercise helps to improve their body image. However, any potential friction areas should be protected. In case of psoriatic arthritis, opting for a gentle discipline such as swimming, yoga, walking, or cycling allows for expenditure of energy while preserving the joints.

Misconception #9: Psoriasis is a curable disease.


At present, there is no treatment that can permanently cure psoriasis. Fortunately, total or partial remission is possible. Thanks to local treatments based on vitamin D or dermocorticoids, the red patches as well as the itching are soothed. Management also helps to limit the appearance of new lesions.

Misconception #10: Psoriasis, a deadly disease.


Psoriasis is not a fatal disease. However, it should be noted that psoriasis can potentially progress to cardiovascular diseases. This condition also increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Special attention should be given to erythrodermic psoriasis , which is a rare but severe form that requires hospitalization.


  • LIAN N. & al. Association between the systemic treatment of psoriasis and cardiovascular risk. Chinese Medical Journal (2021).


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