Psoriasis cannot be cured, only managed, and there's currently a raft of misinformation out there about causes and treatments, with many steering clear of beer or guzzling celery juice (Kim Kardashian) and a lot of confusion about whether bleach baths do any good. So, we've put our faculties to the test to dispel the following myths:
Myth 1: Psoriasis is contagious.
Nope! Psoriasis is not contagious; it’s an immune system disorder. When injured, the skin sends a signal to the body to make more skin cells. For those with Psoriasis, this signal gets sent from healthy skin and more skin cells are made, causing flaking, scaling and itchy patches. Because of how this causes the skin to look, it can be very distressing to those with the condition. It can also lead to other problems such as a form of arthritis.
Myth 2: Drinking beer causes Psoriasis.
A large USA study found that women who drank five or more beers a week doubled their chances of developing Psoriasis, but it’s still not totally clear if this is a risk factor. Alcohol can cause flare-ups in some people, but others say it has no effect at all. A large review of studies into this found that people who drink alcohol have a greater incidence of Psoriasis, but whether this was caused by alcohol is still unclear.
Myth 3: Drinking celery juice will cure your Psoriasis.
Kimmy K has explored the holistic options for treating Psoriasis, such as drinking celery juice, based on a website that claims that “all skin conditions that aren’t injuries actually stem from the liver”. We think people should explore all the options out there, but there's a lot of BS on the internet, so always be discerning when surfing the web.
Myth 4: Bleach baths will destroy your skin.
Bleach baths are more typically used for Eczema than Psoriasis. Eczema is different as it’s typically a reaction to something rather than the result of an overactive immune system. Adding a very small amount of bleach to bath water helps kill the bacteria that can cause infections in eczema patches. The trouble is that bleach is alkaline and can be quite harsh, and eczema is milder when the skin is acidic.
We recommend cleansing skin with a natural, gentle wash with Ceramides to get the job done without unnecessary trauma. Synthetic sulfates like SLS do clean, but they can also do more damage than good to your skin barrier, leaving skin stripped, tight, dry, itchy and screaming for salvation. Clean skin doesn't have to be damaged skin.
Myth 5: Psoriasis can't be treated.
This is not true, but everybody is different and finding what works for you can take some time. In addition to light therapy, sunshine can sometimes help. Some people respond well to reducing stress levels and others break out after eating particular foods. Some drugs that are similar to anti-cancer drugs can also help, but they do have some side effects. Symptomatic relief can be provided by using a topical cream that is moisturising and anti-inflammatory.