Monday, August 19, 2013

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month

Unless you or someone you know has psoriasis, chances are you don't know much about it. And there is a possibility someone you know has psoriasis, you just don't know it (because many people with psoriasis hide it).

People with psoriasis are often self-conscious and embarrassed by their skin condition. They often find themselves in situations daily where people judge them based on their psoriasis and that takes a toll on their self-esteem. The perfect example is the psoriasis drug commercial with a restaurant owner. The owner is serving food when a customer notices psoriasis patches on his arms. The look on the customer's face shows she doesn't want him handling her food. He ends up rolling down his shirt sleeves so no one else will see.

August is psoriasis awareness month, which I think is a really great idea.  It's estimated that 6-8 million people in the US have psoriasis. To help raise awareness, here are some facts about psoriasis:
  1. Psoriasis is not contagious.
  2. Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes itchy or sore patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales.
  3. A problem with your immune system causes psoriasis.
  4. There are different types of psoriasis, but the most common type is called plaque psoriasis.
  5. Patches are typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles, but can affect other places (fingernails, toenails, mouth).
  6. Psoriasis can occur at any age, but it usually occurs in adults.
  7. Psoriasis can last a long time (even a lifetime).
  8. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure.
  9. It sometimes runs in families.
  10. Treatments include creams, medications and light therapy.
  11. Symptoms come and go.
  12. Things that can make it worse: stress, infections, dry skin, and certain medicines.
  13. People with psoriasis should seek care from dermatologists.


  1. The fact that the number 1 fact listed here is that psoriasis is not contagious shows just how important National Psoriasis Awareness Month really is. There are close to 8 million Americans who are living with some form of psoriasis, and I bet most people have no idea that it is an autoimmune disease. As you have mentioned, this skin condition can make patients extremely self-conscious and embarrassed. But they don't have to hide their disease from the people who are close to them. I think another great aspect of this awareness event is teaching patients that they don't have to hide themselves because of their psoriasis.

    1. Couldn't agree with you more Stephen! I think that helping to reinforce people's self esteem and confidence is a very important aspect of this public health awareness event. Psoriasis is more common than a lot of people even realize, and it is certainly worth learning more about.