No one should feel uncomfortable in their skin, yet for the millions of people living with psoriasis, both the physical discomfort and notable red patches it causes on the skin leave its sufferers feeling insecure and frustrated. Therefore, we recognize Psoriasis Action Month for all those living with this condition. It is a time to elevate awareness and understanding of the condition and encourage those impacted to seek treatment by a medical professional.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common condition that impacts more than three million Americans and more than 100 million people globally, yet much is still unknown as to the exact cause of this uncomfortable condition. With psoriasis, skin cells build upon themselves, forming itchy, scaly, dry patches. Sometimes, the skin rash also impacts the nails and joints, though red patches most commonly appear on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp.
Psoriasis Symptoms include:
- Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed or itch
- Itching, burning, or soreness
- Thickened, pitted, or ridged nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
- Small scaling spots (most common in children)
Symptom flare-ups can be caused by stress, infections, and cold temperatures. Medical researchers believe that an immune system reaction causes psoriasis. It tends to go through cycles in which symptoms flare for a few weeks or months, then subside or go into remission.
What is Plaque Psoriasis?
The most common type of psoriasis creates dry, raised lesions covered with silvery scales. The plaques might be itchy or tender, typically appearing on elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp.
Is there a Cure for Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic disease with no cure; however, treatments are available to help you manage symptoms. If you are diagnosed with psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe a topical ointment, light therapy, or other medications that aim to remove scales and slow the rapid growth of skin cells.
How to Take Part in National Psoriasis Action Month
Whether you live with Psoriasis or want to be an ally for those whose lifestyles have been impacted by this uncomfortable condition, you can help all month (and year) long. The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) offers information, education, and resources about the condition for patients and their loved ones.
One of the most significant positive impacts you can have on a psoriasis patient is to treat them with the same acceptance that you treat all those around you. People with psoriasis are often uncomfortable and insecure about how their skin patches appear and fear being judged or defined by a condition they cannot help and may not fully understand. By showing that you are aware of the challenges of psoriasis and are not uncomfortable with their appearance, you will reaffirm the self-confidence they need to lead their life without social insecurities.