What are the chances of getting psoriasis?
It is not possible to predict who will get psoriasis. Genetics, play a role, but some people who have psoriasis have no obvious family history of psoriasis and even if a person is genetically predisposed to the condition, psoriasis may not appear (The Psoriasis Association). Your chances of developing psoriasis increase if you have certain risk factors, such as being a smoker, having high alcohol consumption or stress (Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration; The Psoriasis Association)
How do I know I have psoriasis?
If you have experienced any of the symptoms listed on this website, we recommend you talk your healthcare professional about psoriasis. Your healthcare professional will ask you about your medical history and give you a physical examination to determine whether you have psoriasis (National Psoriasis Foundation, USA). Although there is no specific medical test for psoriasis, a skin biopsy may be performed to examine the skin under a microscope and confirm the diagnosis of psoriasis (International Federation of Psoriasis Associations).
When should I go to the doctor?
The earlier you get a diagnosis, the sooner you can start managing your symptoms, so if you have experienced any of the symptoms listed on this website, it is important to see your healthcare professional as soon as possible. If you have already been diagnosed with psoriasis, but feel that your symptoms are not being adequately controlled by your current treatment, don’t be afraid to go back to your doctor to find out about other treatment options that might be more suitable.
I only have a small patch of psoriasis, but it really bothers me; would it be silly to ask my doctor for treatment?
No. Even if psoriasis only affects a small area of your body or if your symptoms have not been officially classified as severe, it can still have a strong negative impact on your quality of life (Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration). We recommend that you talk to your healthcare professional regularly about how the condition is affecting your life physically, emotionally, socially and sexually. They should then be able to find the right treatment for you to help you reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Is psoriasis contagious?
No. Psoriasis cannot be caught from other people nor can it be transferred from one part of the body to another (The Psoriasis Association).
Does psoriasis ever go away?
Psoriasis tends to wax and wane for periods of time and it can and does go away. Some people may be lucky enough not to have a further flare up, but for most individuals, it usually continues throughout their life (The Psoriasis Association; Australasian College of Dermatologists).
Is there a cure for psoriasis?
Not yet. Psoriasis is a disorder that most often needs lifelong treatment. And because there are so many different medications for the disorder, it may take some time before you find the right treatment or combination of treatments that work for you (International Federation of Psoriasis Associations).