Psoriasis is an immunodeficient condition that manifests itself as a rash on the skin. In some severe cases this rash can actually reach under the skin and effect the bones and joints of the afflicted individual. Psoriasis affects approximately 1%-3% of the general population in the United States. Psoriasis is not currently curable, though there are many treatments that can nearly eliminate the symptoms of psoriasis from appearing. Is psoriasis contagious? Definitely NO!
For a condition to be contagious it would have to be have a base cause that is related to a type of virus, bacteria, or infection. Psoriasis is a condition where a person’s immune system is attacking a particular area of their skin for some unknown reason. The way this works is that the immune system is sending thousands of t-cells, which are little immune system warriors, to an area of the skin to fight something and when they arrive, they find, nothing to fight and nothing to do. As a result they die at their location. But t-cells are not like normal skin cells that die and flake off the skin, t-cells stick to the skin and create a build up in the area where they die. This build up is the physical manifestation of psoriasis.
Is Psoriasis Contagious
In answer to the original question, is psoriasis contagious, the answer is no. These t-cells are being sent because the cytokine proteins in the immune system that are meant to trigger an immune system response to a threat are sending the t-cells for no apparent reason. It is as if these cytokines are Generals in an army and they are ordering the t-cells to attack without there actually being a threat. It is this incorrect communication of the cytokines to the t-cells that causes the condition. This lack of proper communication is not something that can be “caught” and therefore psoriasis itself in not contagious.
The only thing a person can do for another person that is suffering from psoriasis is support them, help them understand their condition, and help them stay abreast of new research on ways to combat the condition. Because psoriasis is not contagious you can help someone that has the condition improve their life without ever having to fear becoming infected yourself.
The most recent promise for an effective treatment for psoriasis is a treatment that moves beyond the normal creams and lotions that most people use and incorporates exposure of the psoriasis to ultraviolet B (UVB) light. For some reason this type of light, when exposed repeatedly to an outbreak of psoriasis, can stop and reverse the attack and build up of the t-cells. This light therapy is a welcome change over messy, smelly lotions ands creams that are traditionally used topically to treat areas of psoriasis. Light therapy is the newest approach to treating psoriasis and researchers are coming up with new and more effective treatments each year.
The good news about psoriasis, besides being able to answer the question, is psoriasis contagious, with a resounding no, is that psoriasis afflicts a lot of people in the world. As a result of it being widespread pharmaceutical researchers have a powerful interest in finding a permanent a cure. This is something that will work to your advantage into the future as hundreds of scientists are being paid to find a cure for your condition each and every day.