It can feel isolating living with a chronic disease like psoriasis. Unless you’ve been diagnosed with the condition, it’s difficult to fully fathom the day-to-day experience of someone who has psoriasis. Every August, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) celebrates Psoriasis Awareness Month in an attempt to shed light on the skin disorder.
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes discomfort and itchiness. Scaly patches frequently appear on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp. The most common type is plaque psoriasis. It’s estimated that eight in 10 people with psoriasis have this form, and symptoms include raised, inflamed, red skin covered with white, silvery scales.
Here are some quick facts about the autoimmune skin condition:
- Psoriasis affects nearly 7.4 million people in the United States.
- There are at least 125 million people worldwide that are affected by psoriasis.
- Anyone can get psoriasis at any age, but it’s most likely to appear between the ages of 15 and 35 years old.
- About three percent of the world’s population has some kind of psoriasis—that’s over 125 people.
- An estimated 30% of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis (occurs when your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells and tissue).
- Almost 60% of people with psoriasis reported their disease to be a large problem in their everyday life.
There’s currently no cure for psoriasis, but there are very effective treatments that are available today more than ever before. Treating psoriasis can lessen the symptoms as well as greatly lower the risk of developing other health conditions like psoriatic arthritis, diabetes, depression and obesity.
Dr. Lauren Dickson, a board certified dermatologist, is very knowledgeable on the chronic skin condition and is equipped to treat it. She believes it can be managed with proper treatment that targets the inflammation.