All about Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes red, scaly plaques anywhere on the body. It can decrease the quality of life, but there are effective treatments to control it.

Frequently asked questions about psoriasis

Psoriasis affects more than 60 million people worldwide.

It affects men and women equally and occurs more commonly in adults than in children. Psoriasis can occur at any age. While some studies indicated the average age of onset for psoriasis was 33 years of age, and 75% of cases occurred before 46 years of age (93), others suggested that the onset of psoriasis was bimodal with two peaks of the disease –  the first between 16 and 22 and the second between 57 and 60 years of age.

Psoriasis has a hereditary component. That is, if you have psoriasis, your child is more likely to have it than other people. However, there are other factors that also play a role. The most important risk factors for psoriasis are obesity, smoking, alcohol use, infections, stress and some drugs.

No, psoriasis is not contagious, neither by contact nor by any other transmission mode.

Psoriasis cannot be cured. At present, there is no treatment that cures psoriasis. However, there are many medications that control the symptoms and allow you to lead a normal life.

Most people have mild psoriasis that is controlled with certain measures (such as hydrating the skin daily) and topical medications.

However, in some people, the disease affects a larger skin area or the joints or has a significant impact on the sufferer’s well-being and quality of life. In these cases, psoriasis may require other medications, either in tablets or in an injected form. Adequate and effective treatments are available for each person and for each type of psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a visible disease and because of that it can affect your quality of life. However, it does not impact all the people in the same way. It depends on many factors, such as the extension and intensity of the disease, the social environment and the personality of the sufferer. Anxiety and depression are frequent. To improve your quality of life, it is important for you to follow the treatment prescribed by your doctor, to maximize remission times and reduce the risk of other psoriasis-related diseases.

It is not known. It is impossible to predict how psoriasis will evolve in a specific person, or how long the flare-ups and remissions will last.

The doctor will adjust treatment based on disease course.

To date, diet has not been shown to be a risk factor to develop psoriasis. Therefore, there is no known food that causes psoriasis. Moreover, there is no scientific evidence to support a "diet for psoriasis".

However, it should not be forgotten that obesity is in fact a risk factor for psoriasis. Hence, following a hypocaloric or low-calorie diet to lose weight is beneficial for overweight people. In addition, psoriasis can be associated with cardiovascular diseases, and, therefore, a healthy, balanced and beneficial diet for the heart, such as a Mediterranean diet, is highly recommended.

Furthermore, if you have psoriasis and celiac disease, eliminating gluten from your diet can improve psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, which, on the other hand, does not recommend this type of diet in people without gluten intolerance.