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Psoriasis: What You Need to Know


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

Mayo Clinic

Categories: Health News