Organized by the International Federation of Psoriatic Disease Associations (IFPA), celebrate World Psoriasis Day on October 29th each year. World Psoriasis Day has taken place yearly for more than a decade. Today, World Psoriasis Day is observed in over 50 countries.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease* (a disease with an unclear cause that is characterized by inflammation caused by dysfunction of the immune system) that causes inflammation in the body. There may be visible signs of the inflammation such as raised plaques (plaques may look different for different skin types) and scales on the skin.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the joints and where tendons and ligaments connect to bone. Like psoriasis, PsA is associated with related health conditions (comorbidities).
Psoriatic Arthritis can start at any age and may affect children. The disease often appears between ages 30 and 50. For many people, it starts about 10 years after psoriasis develops, but some develop PsA first or without ever developing or noticing psoriasis.
Though there is no cure, a growing range of treatments are available to help stop the disease progression, lessen pain, protect joints and preserve range of motion. If you have or suspect you may have PsA, it is extremely important to work with a rheumatologist (a doctor who specializes in how the immune system affects joints, bone and muscles) to find the right treatment plan. Early recognition, diagnosis and treatment of PsA can prevent or limit the extensive joint damage that can occur in later stages of the disease.
About World Psoriasis Day
Observe World Psoriasis Day, whose primary purpose is to act as a focus for people – patients, doctors, nurses and the general public. The day’s goal is also to raise awareness of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It also gives people with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis the attention and consideration they deserve. World Psoriasis Day (WPD) is a useful channel to encourage health authorities to offer improved access to the most appropriate treatments.
While scientists do not know what exactly causes psoriasis, we do know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development. Usually, something triggers psoriasis to flare. The skin cells in people with psoriasis grow at an abnormally fast rate. Because of this, psoriasis lesions build up on the skin.
Who Gets Psoriasis?
Men and women develop psoriasis at equal rates. Psoriasis also occurs in all racial groups, but at varying rates. About 1.9 percent of African-Americans have psoriasis, compared to 3.6 percent of Caucasians.
Psoriasis primarily develops between the ages of 15 and 35. but it can develop at any age. About 10 to 15 percent of those with psoriasis get it before age 10. Some infants have psoriasis, although this is considered rare.
Psoriasis is not contagious. You cannot “catch” psoriasis and others cannot catch psoriasis from you. Psoriasis lesions are not infectious.
Learn About Psoriasis on World Psoriasis Day
If you or someone you loves suffers from psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, educate yourself to understand their condition. Support a loved one who needs support when flares occur. Psoriasis is much more manageable and treatable than it was just ten years ago. There are medications now available, and new medications come to the public each year. Prior to the new medications, treatment options were difficult with little improvement. Now, medications improve skin, skin is clear and education is stronger than ever ever.
Help a loved one or coworker know that you understand their condition by wearing an orange and lavender awareness ribbon pin. With just a nod to the struggle they face, you demonstrate compassion and awareness of the disease. Be a warrior for them and a strong advocate that gives them the ability to discuss their condition with you. Knowing that someone cares and listens makes fighting psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis much easier.
(Content: psoriasis.org Image: deviantart.com)
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