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Contagion psoriasis.

Is psoriasis contagious?

Affecting nearly 2% of the population, psoriasis significantly impacts the quality of life of those affected. Indeed, 1 in 3 French people would avoid kissing those with psoriasis for fear of contamination. Thus, individuals suffering from psoriasis are often stigmatised and marginalised. Can psoriasis really be transmitted? This article provides some answers.

Summary
Published January 22, 2024, by Sandrine, Head of Scientific Communication — 3 min read
Version relue et validée par la dermatologue, Dr. B. LEVY GAREL (France).

Psoriasis, a disease poorly understood by the general public?

According to a study conducted on 433 individuals, 24% have never heard of psoriasis. Among those who believed they knew about psoriasis, nearly half thought it was an infectious disease. Furthermore, a third were apprehensive about shaking hands with people suffering from psoriasis and 45.4% did not want to eat food prepared by patients with psoriasis.

The stigmatisation and social isolation faced by patients with psoriasis deteriorate their quality of life. These individuals are more likely to fall into depression or even harbour suicidal thoughts. This study illustrates the general public's poor understanding of this disease.

Is psoriasis contagious?

Many people believe that psoriasis is a contagious disease. However, these prejudices are unfounded. Indeed, psoriasis cannot be transmitted through physical contact, whether direct or indirect. It is a multifactorial disease, the mechanisms of which are not yet fully established.

The psoriasis stems from a dysfunction of the immune system. It develops in individuals with predisposing genetic factors. It can also be triggered or worsened by certain factors, such as stress, lifestyle habits (alcohol, tobacco, diet), etc.

Clarification : Psoriasis plaques are a result of skin inflammation, not an infection. Therefore, psoriasis cannot be transmitted from one person to another. Thus, you are not at risk of contracting psoriasis after shaking hands, kissing on the cheek, or exchanging clothes with a person who has it.

Sources

  • OHTSUKI M. & al. Risk Factors for the Development of Psoriasis International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2019)

  • ÖZER I., YILDIRIM D.I. Social Awareness about Psoriasis: misconceptions, negative prejudices and discriminatory behaviour (2020)

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