Psoriasis: No, It’s Not Dandruff and Other Misconceptions

No, It's not DandruffWith so many oblivious even to the existence of psoriasis, it’s only natural that people jump to conclusions when they spot something so out of the ordinary. I’m sure all of us, at one point or another have had to answer some questions regarding our condition that we thought were completely unnecessary to begin with. As true as that may be, the more people who ask these questions (as frustrating as it can become) the more answers they will have and with that there will be more understanding and light surrounding psoriasis and hopefully finding a cure.
Below is a list of comments I’ve received and questions I’ve been asked about my psoriasis, more often than not these comments and questions precede the “what is psoriasis” question, so some of my answers avoided the mention of the word.

1. You have dandruff
No. No, I don’t. It’s not dandruff. If only it were that simple. I have psoriasis on my scalp and before you ask – no, it cannot be fixed.

Using tar shampoos have helped – mildly. Spending half an hour under the summer sun for a week always leaves my scalp practically flake-free and this is perhaps the thing I look forward to most. As much as I hate tans and being in the sun, being rid of scalp p (as well as the p covering the rest of me) is such an amazing feeling. I’ve recently come into possession of a UVB light and can’t wait to see results from it.

2. You have something on your ear
Yes, I know. It’s…well, it’s nothing that of your concern.

That’s generally how I answered questions about my psoriasis during my high school years. Although, my classmates knew I had some sort of condition, less than a handful of those knew it was called psoriasis because I never spoke openly about it at all.

3. Is it contagious?
No, it’s not contagious; it’s an auto immune disease that hereditary and can’t be transmitted the anyone else.

4. Are you sure?
Yes, I’m sure. I live it with everyday.

5. Are you sure because I was with….and now I’m itchy and….?
Okay, okay, you got me. I lied the first few times. It’s contagious and that’s why I’m out in public and swimming in public pools so I can infect the whole world with it. Why would I lie about something being contagious? And when you asked if I was sure the first time and I said yes, why would you ask again? Are you stupid? Are you sure? Are you sure because you sure as hell sound stupid.

6. Can it be cured?
In short, no. There’s no known cure for psoriasis. There are many case studies out there and forums where people speak openly about treatments that have and have not worked for them in the past. What works for one person, may not work for another. Each person will have different experiences with treatments they try.

7. Is that…leprosy?
Hello, were you not paying attention earlier? It’s psoriasis, and it’s not contagious. Leprosy and psoriasis are two very different skin conditions. You should read up on them both.

8. What is wrong with you?
Well, actually there’s nothing wrong with me at all. If you’re referring to this patch of skin here then that’s psoriasis.

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