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Shining a Light on Psoriasis

Shining a Light on Psoriasis: Psoriasis Awareness Month

As we turn the calendar to August, a month historically known for its blazing summer sun and vacations, it's important to also turn our attention towards something far less sunny: psoriasis. August marks Psoriasis Awareness Month, a dedicated time to educate the public about this chronic, immune-mediated disease and to support the millions worldwide who are affected by it.


Psoriasis is a lifelong condition that manifests as patches of red, scaly skin, typically on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. But it's much more than a skin disorder; psoriasis can significantly impact an individual's quality of life, with potential consequences for physical health, psychological wellbeing, and social interactions.


Understanding Psoriasis

While we don't fully understand why psoriasis occurs, researchers believe it to be the result of an overactive immune response that accelerates the life cycle of skin cells. Instead of shedding as they normally would, these cells accumulate on the skin's surface, resulting in the characteristic patches or 'plaques' associated with the condition.

Psoriasis can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, or gender. However, most people begin to see symptoms between the ages of 15 and 25. There are several types of psoriasis, including plaque psoriasis (the most common), guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, and erythrodermic psoriasis. Psoriasis is not contagious.


The Impact Beyond the Skin

It's important to realize that psoriasis isn't just a cosmetic issue. People with this condition are at a higher risk for a range of other health problems, including psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and depression. The stress and social stigma associated with visible psoriasis can lead to significant emotional distress and lower self-esteem, which only adds to the burden of this disease.


The Role of Psoriasis Awareness Month

Psoriasis Awareness Month aims to shed light on these challenges, not just for those living with the disease, but for everyone. Education plays a key role in battling the misconceptions and stigma that psoriasis patients often face. Here's what you can do to support Psoriasis Awareness Month:

  • Educate Yourself and Others: Learn about the disease, its symptoms, types, treatments, and its impacts on mental health. Share this knowledge with those around you.

  • Spread the Word: Use your social media platforms to share facts about psoriasis, personal stories, or educational resources using the hashtag #PsoriasisAwarenessMonth.

  • Support Research: Donate to organizations dedicated to psoriasis research. These donations help fund critical research into better treatment options and, hopefully, a cure.

  • Show Compassion: If you know someone with psoriasis, show them compassion and support. Be a sounding board if they need to talk and avoid making judgmental comments about their appearance.


A Journey of Hope

While there is currently no cure for psoriasis, treatment options have vastly improved over the years. Topical treatments, light therapy, systemic medications, and newer biologic drugs like Humira, Cimzia, Enbrel, Simponi, Tremfya, Remicade, and Taltz to name a few, can all help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for those with psoriasis.

Psoriasis Awareness Month is more than just 31 days on a calendar. It is a reminder that despite the challenges of this disease, there is a global community of healthcare professionals, researchers, patients, and advocates committed to better understanding, treatment, and support for those affected by psoriasis.


This August let's all make a concerted effort to learn more about psoriasis and show empathy to those who live with this condition. Through education, advocacy, and research, we can help to change the narrative around psoriasis, promoting greater understanding and acceptance for everyone impacted by this disease.

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