Did you know that August is Psoriasis Awareness Month? If you are one of the over 8 million adults who have this condition, then you know that it causes patches of thick, red skin and silvery scales that are typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms and soles of feet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you don’t have it, then you can learn about this condition during Psoriasis Awareness Month to help you become more aware.
The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) works to celebrate the psoriasis community each August and work to find a cure for this disease. Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease, which means that it has an unclear cause that is characterized by inflammation caused by dysfunction of the immune system that causes inflammation in the body.
“Normal skin cells completely grow and shed (fall off) in a month,” stated NPF’s website. “With psoriasis, skin cells do this in only three or four days. Instead of shedding, the skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin.”
Sometimes, people report that their psoriasis plaques itch, burn and sting. Other times, the inflammation caused by psoriasis can impact other organs and tissues in the body, causing patients to experience other health conditions. For example, one in three people with psoriasis may develop psoriatic arthritis, which includes swelling, stiffness and pain in the joints.
Unfortunately, scientists still don’t know exactly what causes this condition. However, they do know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its genetics, it’s not contagious, and symptoms often start between the ages of 15 and 25, but men, women and children of all skin colors can get it.
There are effective treatments out there to help you manage psoriasis. If you think you might have it, contact your doctor today to figure out the next steps. Treating it can help improve symptoms and lower your risk of developing other serious health conditions as well. You don’t have to live miserably!