What it’s like to live with psoriasis.
When you hear “psoriasis,” you probably think of red, irritated skin. And while that’s partially what it is, psoriasis goes much deeper than that. Psoriasis is actually a chronic condition that brings on many physical and emotional symptoms that don’t just have to do with a person’s skin.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a person’s immune system sends “faulty signals” and causes skin cells to grow too quickly, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) explains. As a result, skin cells pile up on the skin surface, forming those characteristic psoriasis lesions. People who suffer from psoriasis can have skin flare-ups that show up as red, scaly, and/or itchy patches—and they can surface anywhere on the body where there is skin (including the scalp, eyelids, elbows, knees, you name it). The condition is believed to caused by a combination of genetics and external factors, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
But there are also different types of psoriasis that may appear differently on the skin and come with their own specific symptoms—and some people may have more than one. What’s more, people who have psoriasis are also at an increased risk of developing a variety other health conditions, including psoriatic arthritis (a form of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis), diabetes, and depression, among others, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
For people living with psoriasis, the condition can affect their joints, their ability to sleep comfortably, what clothing they can wear to avoid discomfort, their self-esteem, and much more. We spoke with nine of them about what life is really like with psoriasis—plus some of the biggest things people still get wrong about the complicated disease.
|Read on: Living With Psoriasis: What It's Really Like to Experience Psoriasis Symptoms|