Psoriasis Awareness Month

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Psoriasis Awareness Month

August is National Psoriasis Awareness Month, offering the opportunity to educate the public and dispel myths associated with the disease. In honor of this event, it aims to devoting August to raising awareness about psoriatic disease and its effects on the more than 7.5 million people living with this condition.  Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. The most common form of the disease, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches covered with an accumulation of white dead skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious. As many as 30 percent of people with the disease will be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, a specific form of arthritis that is painful and debilitating, causing damage to the joints. The emotional aspects, the physical restrictions, and the pain caused by psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can be disabling.


Since psoriasis symptoms characterize many other skin diseases, your physician may need to rule out other skin disorders before making a psoriasis diagnosis. Your physician may take skin samples from the patchy areas for observation under a microscope as well. Unfortunately, managing psoriasis is the most common means of treating the condition, which may last from a few months to a lifetime.


Psoriasis occurs when the immune system attacks healthy skin cells. As part of this attack, healthy skin grows and rises to the outermost layer of the skin more quickly.


Treatment for psoriasis involves the management of the symptoms and the immune system’s response to the perceived threat. Some contributing factors to the immune response include existing, dry skin, stress, infections, and some medications, explains the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The three most common medicinal treatments, according to the Mayo Clinic, include the following:

  • Topical Treatments – Your physician may give you ointments and creams to treat your psoriasis. These medications aim at inhibiting the cell turnover, effectively reducing the pace at which newer skin cells rise to the outside layer of skin. Topical treatments include corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, Anthralin, retinoids, calcineurin inhibitors, salicylic acid, coal tar and moisturizes.
  • Light Therapy or Phototherapy – This treatment uses artificial, or natural, ultraviolet light to force the skin to react. Ultraviolet light reduces the rate of cell turnover; however, excessive exposure to UV light can make the symptoms worsen. Consult your physician before beginning any sort of UV treatment for your psoriasis.
  • Medications – For our purposes, medications include injected and oral medications. These medications reduce the production of skin cells, or they may reduce the immune system response, which improves psoriasis symptoms.


Psoriasis Awareness Month unites people living with psoriasis so they can support each other and champion the common goal of finding a cure for psoriasis. It is an opportunity to see every person’ journey and hear about their experiences. Raising awareness can build community and deepen our understanding of the condition. It also encourages new research into psoriasis in order to improve our current knowledge and treatments.


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