Quick Questions

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What causes psoriasis?
Although the exact cause is still unknown, some people are more likely to develop psoriasis than others. Psoriasis has a genetic component to the condition - that is, it runs in families. Two other trigger factors may cause psoriasis to start: in children a throat infection and, more generally, stress. In many cases no obvious cause can be identified.

Is psoriasis catching?
The simple answer is no, psoriasis is not catching. You can reassure your friends and anyone you meet that they will not get psoriasis by being with you or touching you. Sometimes it is helpful to give people leaflets to read about your condition - teachers and employers are obvious people who should know about psoriasis and be able to help you.

Will it go away?
In some cases, yes it may clear up for years or decades in other it is a chronic, that is long- term, condition. Most people with psoriasis find they can work out a regime to manage their condition with the help of their doctor and keep it under control.

Using medication regularly and as prescribed is the key to helping maintain the skin in good condition. Taking care to protect your skin is also important. Tasks that most people do without thinking, like washing-up, should be done wearing protective PVC household gloves if your psoriasis affects your hands. Better still, get someone else to do it!

Will my children get psoriasis?
Your children are more likely to develop psoriasis if either or both of the parents have had psoriasis. It is a condition that runs in families, like eczema or asthma.

Will I get worse?
Psoriasis does vary. You will get flare-ups when your condition is worse than at other times. Although we cannot be certain, stress seems to make psoriasis worse in many people. Life events like a bereavement or exams can make psoriasis worse. Try to avoid stress whenever possible. With a good treatment regime you will soon have your psoriasis under control again. Do go back to your doctor if you feel the treatment you have been given is not working well for you. There might be other options you could try. You will not be wasting your doctor’s time; he or she is happy to help you manage your skin condition in the best way.

Will I get arthritis?
One to two in ten people with psoriasis go on to develop a form of psoriatic arthropathy. For most this means mild aches and pains in one or two joints. For a few, psoriatic arthritis is more disabling and will need specialist help. Effective medication is available to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Will my hair fall out if I get psoriasis on my head?
Scalp psoriasis does not normally affect the hair, just the skin on the head. Some people find that they lose hair but it nearly always grows back when the psoriasis is treated and under control. Don’t worry about visiting your hairdresser - you do not need to be embarrassed. Most are familiar with the condition, know it is not catching and will be happy to wash, cut and style your hair. A good boost to your morale if you are feeling low!