August is designated as Psoriasis Awareness Month – a time when patients, doctors and organizations seek to raise awareness about the disease and improve accessibility to helpful resources for people living with psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic, noncontagious autoimmune disease that affects the skin. It is estimated that 7.5 million people in the United States and 125 million people worldwide live with the disease. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, “The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown. Genetics and external factors known as “triggers” play a role in the development of the disease. Triggers include: injury to the skin, infections, certain medications.”
There are five types of psoriasis, the most common being plaque psoriasis. About 80% of people who develop psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, which appears as patches of raised, reddish skin covered by silvery-white scale. Other types of psoriasis often result in redness as well as lesions, spots or pustules on the skin. Regardless of type, psoriasis usually causes discomfort. Psoriasis significantly impacts quality of life as the skin can be itchy and painful and may cause the person to be self-conscious about their appearance.
Treatments for psoriasis depend on the type and symptoms that are present. The most important treatments are proper hydration, care of the skin, and eliminating physical and emotional stressors. At Radiant Dermatology, we teach the patient the best way to care for their unique skin. Dermatologist Amanda Friedrichs guides patients to uncover potential triggers and decrease stressors. We also offer topical, oral, and injectable treatments for psoriasis depending on the severity of your condition.
For Psoriasis Awareness Month 2016, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) has launched a campaign to spread awareness and to share resources to help patients manage their disease. Each week of the campaign the NPF has a theme and a “weekly challenge” to encourage people to educate themselves and others (and the challenges have prizes – Hooray!). Visit the NPF website for more information on Psoriasis Awareness Month and show your support by using #PsAM16 on social media.
You can find more information about psoriasis on our website and from the American Academy of Dermatology. If you need help managing your psoriasis, schedule a consultation with Dr. Friedrichs to find out what treatments are right for you.