Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that usually appears as red or pink plaques of raised, thick, scaly skin. However, it can also appear as small flat bumps, or large thick plaques. It most commonly affects the skin on the elbows, knees, and scalp, though it can appear anywhere on the body.

2. How is psoriasis diagnosed?

Your GP or dermatologist will look at your skin to diagnose and determine the severity of your psoriasis. This will allow them to identify what specific type of psoriasis you have.

3. Are there different types of psoriasis?

There are several different types of psoriasis. However, plaque psoriasis is the most common form.

4. Is psoriasis the same as eczema?

No, psoriasis is not the same as eczema. Eczema is usually very itchy, and does not cause the scaly patches seen with psoriasis. Speak to your GP or dermatologist who will be able to identify if you have eczema or psoriasis.

5. Is psoriasis contagious?

No, psoriasis is not contagious. People who have never seen psoriasis before may assume that it is infectious. However, psoriasis is not a contagious disease, and the scaly patches it causes will not spread to another person.

6. What is the link between psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis?

Inflammation is part of both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Both of these conditions occur because the immune system attacks the body itself. Although the diseases are related, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis do not necessarily predict one another. Many people with psoriasis will never develop psoriatic arthritis, while some people have psoriatic arthritis without having psoriasis

7. Is there a cure for psoriasis?

Unfortunately, at this point in time there is no cure for psoriasis. But it can be treated to improve symptoms and managed to improve your quality of life.

8. What treatments may I be given?

You may be given a range of different treatments, such as creams, phototherapy, and medication to help control your symptoms.

9. Can psoriasis affect my pregnancy?

You need to discuss with your healthcare team how to manage your psoriasis during pregnancy. If you are planning a pregnancy, it would be advisable to discuss as early as possible with your doctor to ensure a treatment plan can be put into place.

10. Is it possible for my children to inherit psoriasis from me?

Having a parent with psoriasis increases the risk of a child developing it, and having two parents with psoriasis increases the risk further. A parent with the disease has about a 16 percent chance of passing it down to their child. If both parents have psoriasis, there’s a 50 percent chance of passing down the trait.

11. Is there anything I can do to help my psoriasis?

Making some lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight and stopping smoking may help reduce the severity of psoriasis. While diet has not generally been shown to play a role, following a healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.