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Our cause awareness blog provides knowledge and educational information to advocate for cancer, medical, social and psychological illnesses and/or causes. 

Filtering by Tag: skin disorder

Psoriasis Awareness Month!

Personalized Cause

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month!

Unpredictable and irritating, psoriasis is one of the most baffling and persistent skin disorders.  Psoriasis is characterized by skin cells that multiply up to ten times faster than normal. As underlying cells reach the skin's surface and die, their sheer volume causes raised, red plaques covered with white scales. Psoriasis typically occurs on the knees, elbows, and scalp, and it can also affect the torso, palms, and soles of the feet. It can be itchy, painful, and may crack and bleed. 

Psoriasis can also be associated with psoriatic arthritis, which leads to pain and swelling in the joints. The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that between 10% to 30% of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis.

A variety of factors, ranging from emotional stress and trauma to streptococcal infection, can cause an episode of psoriasis. Recent research indicates that some abnormality in the immune system is the key cause of psoriasis. As many as 80% of people having flare-ups report a recent emotional trauma, such as a new job or the death of a loved one. Most doctors believe such external stressors serve as triggers for an inherited defect in immune function.

Injured skin and certain drugs can aggravate psoriasis, including certain types of blood pressure medications (like beta-blockers), the anti-malarial medication hydroxychloroquine, and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.).

Psoriasis tends to run in families, but it may skip generations; a grandfather and his grandson may be affected, but the child's mother never develops the disease. Although psoriasis may be stressful and embarrassing, most outbreaks are relatively harmless. With appropriate treatment, symptoms generally subside within a few months.

#psoriasis #itchyskin #autoimmunedisease #autoimmune #skindisease #skindisorder #dermatology #rheumatology #plaque #pain #redness #otezla

World Vitiligo Day

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Happy World Vitiligo Day!

Well, hello, friends! Thanks for stopping by for this week’s awareness blog post! Today we’re going to talk about a skin condition called vitiligo. Now, I know what you’re all thinking (if you’re old enough, that is), “isn’t that the condition that Michael Jackson supposedly had?” The answer to that is, yes! Michael Jackson was heavily criticized for “bleaching his skin” to appear more white. There were swarms of people who faulted him for being a bad role model to black children and claimed he was “white-washing” himself. The truth of the matter, as stated in his autopsy report, is that Michael Jackson suffered from a chronic skin condition called vitiligo, which causes pigment in the skin to be lost. This ultimately results in the skin becoming very pale, since the skin lacks the ability to create color without pigment. Of course, the star used a myriad of other products and techniques to try to get his skin to appear to be all one color, essentially to try to cover the discoloration. He was trying to cover the effects of the condition rather than lighten his skin tone. Actually, it’s very difficult to tell that he had vitiligo by looking at his face because he did such a good job masking it. It’s really a shame that he felt the need to hide it. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and it’s a lot more common than you think. So, today, on World Vitiligo Day, let’s take a second to learn a little bit about this chronic skin condition. To all my people out there with vitiligo, happy World Vitiligo Day!

Vitiligo is a chronic skin condition that causes the skin to lose its melanin. This loss of melanin causes the skin to appear white. The white skin usually appears in patches. Vitiligo can occur anywhere on the body, and most patients have white patches in more than just one place. Vitiligo can occur on all skin colors, although it is more noticeable in people with darker skin tones. Melanocytes are the cells that produce color in skin. It is unknown why, but with vitiligo, the melanocytes are destroyed. There is no known cause of vitiligo. It is theorized that it may be an autoimmune condition because of the destruction of the melanocytes. It appears that the body may be destroying those cells itself, since no other source of the destruction can be found. With autoimmune diseases, the body mistakenly begins to attack it’s own cells, tissues, and organs. The immune system is designed to fight off anything that could be harmful, such as bacteria or a virus, but with an autoimmune disease, the immune system becomes confused and attacks it’s own normal healthy cells. Thus the name, autoimmune. Auto, meaning: self: self-immune.

Vitiligo is a common condition. There is somewhere between two and five million people in the United States who have the skin condition. That ends up being something like two percent of the American population. That doesn’t sounds like much, but it is. Most people who have vitiligo noticed the white spots and patches early in life. It generally presents itself between the ages of ten and thirty. Almost all vitiligo patients are diagnosed before the age of forty. It is not dependent on sex, and is not necessarily more likely to happen if you are a man or a woman. One thing that can impact your odds of developing the skin condition is if you have a family member who has it. Vitiligo tends to run in families. You may also be more likely to develop vitiligo if premature graying is common in your family. That does make sense, considering that gray hair occurs as a result of loss of pigment cells. There are also some autoimmune diseases that may increase your odds of developing vitiligo. Diseases such as Hashimoto’s disease (also known as autoimmune thyroid disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), or type 1 diabetes have shown to be more frequent in patients with vitiligo. Vitiligo is not contagious. Vitiligo may also be caused by a trigger event, for example a sunburn, or it may be caused by exposure to industrial chemicals or harsh chemicals.

So, naturally you’re wondering what the symptoms are. Well, with vitiligo, the only real symptom is just the skin color loss. For most people with the skin condition, the skin will suddenly and quickly begin losing pigment. This usually occurs in more than one area. Vitiligo is particularly common in places like the armpits, elbows, and any other area of the body that folds. It is also particularly common to occur around any opening on the body. It often affects the skin around the mouth and nose, as well as the hands. It can occur anywhere, though, even the hair. The area where the pigment is lost and has become white may stay the same size and shape for quite some time. It is likely, however, that at some point, the white patches will begin to spread and new patches may arise. Sometimes, patients will see long periods where the vitiligo remains the same and does not spread, followed by a period where the vitiligo is actively spreading. It may cycle back and forth. Vitiligo may appear over places that have been injured in the past, or in places that are exposed to sunlight frequently, too. It may also appear around moles. No real explanation on that one. Loss of pigment can also occur in the mucous membranes, namely the area inside your nose or the area inside your mouth. Pigment rarely returns to places where vitiligo has developed, but it’s not impossible. It’s highly unlikely, though.

There are three classifications of vitiligo. Generalized vitiligo is the most common type of the chronic skin condition. With generalized vitiligo, the white patches generally occur symmetrically on the body. They also tend to progress symmetrically. Of course, they are not completely symmetrical, and the patches may take different shapes. Segmental vitiligo occurs in young people, generally. It tends to progress for a couple years and then stop. Localized, or focal, vitiligo occurs on only a few places of the body. It is impossible to predict how any of these different types of the condition will progress over a person’s life. Sometimes, the condition will stop progressing without treatment, sometimes it wont. Generally speaking, vitiligo usually progresses and eventually covers a great deal of the skin.

Diagnosing vitiligo is relatively easy, and doesn’t require any crazy testing. Doctors can usually tell just by looking at the patches of pigment loss while conducting a physical whether or not you have the skin condition. It isn’t too difficult to identify and it tends to occur in the same kinds of places, so doctors can conclusively diagnose vitiligo by examining the skin. Some doctors may do further diagnostic testing. This may require a biopsy or blood labs. Taking a biopsy of the affected skin may be helpful in diagnosis. Blood tests may be used to determine whether there are other underlying autoimmune issues, which can sometimes be related to vitiligo. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this skin condition. There is also no way to prevent the condition from occurring. Many patients with vitiligo use makeup to cover up uneven skin color. Sometimes, corticosteroids are used to help with the appearance of the vitiligo, as well. Corticosteroid creams may be effective in restoring some of the pigment over time, especially when used early on in the disease process. There are also therapies such as light therapy combined with psoralen, which is taken orally. After taking the psoralen, patients are exposed to UVA/UVB light. There is also a therapy that evens skin tone by removing the pigment from the skin that has not been affected by the vitiligo. This is called depigmenting. There are surgical options such as skin grafting, and micropigmentation (essentially tattooing). Many of these therapies are pretty effective, but results do vary from patient to patient.

That’s it for today, guys! Thanks for reading!

If you are new to the Personalized Cause awareness blog, let me welcome you! I appreciate you taking the time to give this a read. Personalized Cause is an awareness accessory brand based in California that specializes in custom awareness ribbons. Custom awareness ribbons are a unique product that allows customers to personalize their awareness ribbon with any text they choose. There is no minimum quantity order requirement for custom awareness ribbons, which no other company offers. You may order just one custom awareness ribbon if that’s all you want, or you can order a bunch of different one, all with different text. It’s completely up to you. Plus, if custom awareness ribbons aren’t your thing, we also carry classic awareness ribbons, fabric awareness ribbons, and silicone wristbands. Whatever your awareness accessory needs, we’ve got you covered.

Personalized Cause began this awareness blog to help raise awareness for the illnesses and causes that affect our customers. We want to help make this world a little more educated, understanding, and compassionate for them. We know how difficult it can be to deal with ignorance and misunderstanding in a community. We’ve also seen how a single awareness ribbon can impact that same community. We realize that our customers are doing their part to raise awareness for the causes close to their hearts by wearing their ribbons, and we wanted to do our part to help. This awareness blog is dedicated to educating readers on as many causes and illnesses as possible, in the hopes that we may contribute to a more understanding community for our customers. I hope you’ll join us again next week for another awareness blog post!

Purple awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for vitiligo. To order a custom purple awareness ribbon, visit:

#vitiligo #vitiligonation #vitiligopride #vitiligobeauties #dermatology #skin #pigment #melanin #color #change #beauty #worldvitiligoday #awareness #awarenessblog #awarenessribbons #cancerribbons

Scleroderma Awareness Month

Personalized Cause


June is Scleroderma Awareness Month!

Hey, everybody! Welcome back. I’m so glad you’ve joined us for another installment of the awareness blog! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week. Today were going to be talking about scleroderma. I’m excited to do that because up until now, most of our topics have been diseases or causes that people have heard of, or at least knew the name of. Scleroderma is kind of off the radar for most people, unless they know someone who has been affected by it. The point of this blog is to raise awareness and educate people about things that commonly affect others, but it is also to raise awareness for illnesses and causes that people may not know about. The mission is to familiarize people with an array of causes so that we can create a more knowledgeable and understanding society, with a culture of inclusion and acceptance. So, I’m just going to get right to it, today. Here we go!

Chances are, even if you have heard of it before, you don’t know exactly what scleroderma is. That’s totally okay! It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. You’re not expected to know everything about every cause. That would be impossible. Besides, most people don’t really know what scleroderma is. That’s because scleroderma is a group of rare autoimmune diseases. Keyword: rare.

Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune means that the body attacks itself. Normal immune systems are designed to fight off any foreign bodies, like a virus or bacteria, in order to keep you healthy. Autoimmune diseases mistakenly attack normal healthy cells/tissue in the body. This causes an inflammation response. Inflammation, over time, causes damage to the area it occurs in. For example, inflammation in the knees over a long period of time may lead to knee pain due to damage or other joint problems. All autoimmune diseases share this trait, but the way in which the body attacks itself or where it attacks itself is unique. If you’ve read my first few awareness blog posts, you’ll recognize this metaphor: Autoimmune diseases are all the same ice cream, just different flavors. So, what are the characteristics of scleroderma flavor?

Scleroderma is a chronic illness, meaning that there is no cure for the disease. Scleroderma is a skin disease, which causes the body to produce too much collagen. Sounds good, right? You’ll never age. Wrong. Although, some people with scleroderma have been noted as looking younger. Scleroderma causes the skin to thicken and feel tight. This thickening can occur internally, too, leading to tissue damage and organ function impairment. Scars may form on the lungs or kidneys, and blood vessels may thicken and harden leading to serious circulation issues.

There are two categories of scleroderma, which are called localized scleroderma and systemic scleroderma. The difference is between them lies in how much of the body is affected. Each category has different classifications. We’re going to look at them in more depth now.

The first category of scleroderma, called localized scleroderma, is broken down into two different types. The first type of localized scleroderma is called morphea, and the second type of scleroderma is linear. Localized scleroderma usually just affects the skin. Morphea causes patches on the skin to form. These patches are hard and oval shaped that start off in a reddish-purple color and then turn white in the middle. Rarely, morphea can affect the blood vessels or internal organs; this is called generalized morphea. Linear scleroderma appears in lines, as the name suggests. With linear scleroderma, the thickened skin appears in streaks across the face, arms, or legs.

The second category of scleroderma is systemic scleroderma, which can also be referred to as generalized scleroderma. There are also two different types of systemic scleroderma. The first type of systemic scleroderma is called limited scleroderma. Limited scleroderma doesn’t show up one day out of nowhere. It develops slowly across the skin on the hands, feet, or face. Limited scleroderma can also affect internal organs, such as the lungs, intestines, or esophagus. When this occurs, it is called CREST syndrome. CREST syndrome stands for calcinosis, Raynaud phenomenon, esophageal dysmotility, sclerodactyly and telangiectasia. These are the symptoms that make up the syndrome. This damage in the internal organs can become very serious. Scleroderma gradually hardens the organs until they no longer function. It’s almost as if the organs become frozen. As you can imagine, as the disease progresses in the organs, surgery may become necessary to bypass the non-functioning organ. This could include a feeding tube or ostomy bad. Although potentially very serious, the prognosis for many limited scleroderma patients is good. The disease is progressive, and does worsen over time, so it is important to have regular medical care to monitor the progress of the disease. Diffuse scleroderma is the second type of systemic scleroderma. Diffuse scleroderma develops quickly, as opposed to limited scleroderma, and affects the trunk of the body in addition to the extremities. Diffuse scleroderma can also affects the organs, in the same ways as limited scleroderma.

Symptoms of scleroderma are unique to each patient. Not every patient will present with the same symptoms in the same way. Symptoms usually present in some combination and degree of the following symptoms.

• Thick, smooth, and shiny skin, most commonly on the face or hands. • Raynaud’s syndrome, or Raynaud’s phenomenon, can be a component of scleroderma. Raynaud’s is characterized by fingers and toes that turn white, blue or red and feel unusually cold. • Fingertips may develop sores or ulcers. • Telangiectasias, which looks like a bunch of little red dots on the chest or face. These little red spots are opened blood vessels. • Swollen, painful, or puffy toes and fingers. • Swollen, painful joints. • Weakness of muscles. • Sjogren’s syndrome, which causes dryness. This dryness is usually noticed in the mouth or eyes. • Edema, which basically just means swelling, in the fingers and hands. • Heartburn. • Feeling short of breath. • Diarrhea. • Weight loss.

Almost all patients who have scleroderma have some sort of skin involvement. One of the first symptoms that occur in scleroderma is Raynaud’s phenomenon. You may notice that your fingers and toes become cold and numb, and even painful, when you experience stress or become upset. It may also occur when you are exposed to something cold, for instance an icy soda can. The digestive system tends to be affected in some types of scleroderma. The most notable symptoms of this would include acid reflux, mal-absorption of nutrients, or difficulty moving food through the intestines. Some scleroderma can affect the heart, lungs and kidneys. If not treated, organ involvement may become life threatening. I know a lot of this has been mentioned earlier in the post, but I wanted to give you a brief synopsis of symptoms.

A doctor can diagnose scleroderma by doing a physical examination, going over your health history, taking x-rays, running blood tests, pulmonary function tests, CT scans, echocardiograms, and/or a biopsy. Diagnosis may require any or all of these tests. Most people with scleroderma are women, and are diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50 years old. Doctors are unsure of what causes the disease, other than autoimmune system dysfunction. Most autoimmune diseases have no specific “cause”. It is believed that genetic predisposition may play a role in the development of autoimmune disease in some patients, but not all.

There are many different ways to deal with the symptoms of scleroderma, and treat the disease. First off, there are many medications that can help alleviate or prevent the symptoms of the disease. Rheumatologists, the doctors that treat autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma, can use immunosuppressant medications that suppress the overactive immune system. They also use medicines that dilate blood vessels, to prevent problems in the lungs or kidneys, as well as help with Raynaud’s phenomenon. Acid reflux medicines are used to prevent acid reflux, which can lead to development of scleroderma in the esophagus. Treating and preventing infections or virus’ can also be used to prevent further damage to lungs. Pain relievers may also be prescribed for patients when over the counter medicines are not effective. Other types of therapy may also be prescribed, such as physical and occupational therapy. These types of therapy can be very helpful in managing pain, improving mobility, and help patients develop coping skills to maintain their independence. In worst-case scenarios, organ transplants may be needed to replace badly damaged organs.

Scleroderma is tough disease, made even tougher by the fact that many people have no idea what it is or how it affects people. Thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit about it. By choosing to educate yourself, you create a little bit more compassion and understanding in the world, which I think we can all agree is needed. I’ll see you guys next week for another edition of the awareness blog!

If you are new to our awareness blog, welcome! I am so glad you stumbled upon us. This awareness blog is dedicated to raising awareness for all sorts of causes and conditions. If you’re reading this, that means you’ve found our website. You may be wondering what we do here. Personalized Cause is an awareness accessory company that specializes in custom awareness ribbons. Since custom awareness ribbons are a product unique to our business, you may be wondering what they are. Custom awareness ribbons are awareness ribbons that you can personalize with any name, date, phrase, or message you want. We are the only company in the U.S. to offer our customers the ability to customize awareness ribbons, without requiring a bulk order. That means you can order just one custom ribbon, if that’s all you want. You can also order a bunch, with all different personalization. It’s completely up to you. We also carry classic awareness ribbons, fabric ribbons, and silicone wristbands. We’re your one stop awareness shop! Take a look around the site to see all of our products.

Teal awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for scleroderma. To order a custom teal awareness ribbon, visit:

#scleroderma #skin #thickskin #connectivetissue #connectivetissue #rheumatoiddisease #autoimmunedisease #awareness #awarenessblog #awarenessribbons #cancerribbons