Did you know that August is Psoriasis Awareness Month? The National Psoriasis
Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness about psoriasis, this most
common autoimmune disease, and providing education so that the “real”
facts are known.
Psoriasis affects 7.5 million Americans, and has a big impact on their
quality of life. It is believed that about 10% of the population is predisposed
to psoriasis. However, only about 3% actually develop this disease.
Psoriasis is considered an auto-immune disease, but what does that really
mean? Well, when a person’s immune system is working properly, it
protects the body by destroying bacteria, viruses, and other foreign bodies,
to keep the body healthy. When a person develops psoriasis, it is because
the immune system misinterprets, and unfortunately causes inflammation
and hastens the growth of, skin cells. This rapid growth of cells causes
the typical appearance of patchy thick red skin on elbows, knees, scalp,
lower back, face, and soles of feet. If you’re concerned that you,
or a loved one, may have psoriasis, make an appointment with a dermatologist;
who is an expert in treating this disease.
Living with psoriasis can be challenging, but you’re not alone. Individuals
with psoriasis may find it difficult to discuss how the disease is affecting
their quality of life. However, there are many treatments and supportive
measures available to combat itching, joint pain, and depression. Exercise
such as yoga, tai-chi, and walking are great additions to your lifestyle,
especially because stress is a contributing factor to psoriasis flare ups.
To learn more about psoriasis, recent research outcomes, treatment options,
and resources to help with diagnosis and living with psoriasis, please
visit the following online resources:
National Psoriasis Foundation
Centers for Disease Control