4 Things You Need to Know About Psoriasis

On World Psoriasis Day, we turn to an expert to get the low-down on the disease that Kim Kardashian openly suffers with
4 Things You Need to Know About Psoriasis
Getty Images

October 29 marks World Psoriasis Day, so we decided to get some answers about the baffling and insistent skin disease. The likes of Kim Kardashian and Cara Delevingne have both been open about suffering with the autoimmune disease, with the reality star once saying of it, “Sometimes I just feel like it’s my big flaw and everyone knows about it, so why cover it?”

kim kardashian Psoriasis

Kim Kardashian discussing her psoriasis on an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians (E!)

According to Dr Mohamed Moukhtar, Medical and Scientific Affairs Manager at LEO Pharma GCC, “It is an unpredictable and irritating, chronic, long-lasting disease, developed when your immune system sends wrong signals telling the skin to grow up to 10 times faster than usual. As a result, red, flaky, crusty, and raised patches appear on your skin. According to World Psoriasis Day consortium, 2 to 3 per cent of the total world population have psoriasis.”

So here is Dr Mohamed Moukhtar’s low-down on everything you should know about psoriasis...

1. It can affect any part of your body

“Psoriasis can show up in any part of the body, but the most common areas are the knees, elbows, or scalp. Different body part is unique and requires different medications. You can also get affected in several parts of your body. Thus, each part is treated differently.”

2. It is not contagious

“One of the biggest misconceptions about psoriasis is that it is contagious, that is a myth! Many doctors believe it is an inherited condition because some are more likely to develop the disease if a family member already has it.”

3. It does not have any cure… yet

“What causes psoriasis is still unknown, however, it is suggested that this disease is caused by a problem with the immune system. Hence, when immune cells are supposed to attack harmful viruses and bacteria in the body, they attack the healthy skin cells by mistake. This creates increased production of cells in the outer skin layers, T cells and other white blood cells. In turn yet more, white blood cells move to the outer layer, and the affected skin area become red, thick and covered with flakes. The most annoying symptoms are severe itching and scratching of the affected skin area and once started, a non-ending cycle of inflammation resulted.”

4. It is linked to mental health issues

“Psoriasis can have a significant psychological effect on its sufferers. People with psoriasis are twice as likely to be depressed as those who don't have it. Even if your psoriasis symptoms are mild, you still have a higher risk. In one study, nearly 20 per cent of people with psoriasis had some form of depression.”