August marks National Psoriasis Awareness Month, a time to spread information about the disease and its treatment options, as well as to support those who experience its manifestations. Psoriasis and related psoriatic disease affect millions of people worldwide. August 1-August 31 is used as an opportunity to educate sufferers of psoriasis on treatment, causes, triggers and management of this skin disease. This skin disease is a chronic non-communicable disabling disease that has a great negative impact on a patient's quality of life (WHO).
Psoriasis is a non-contagious skin disease that causes a rash with itchy, scaly patches mostly on knees, trunk, elbow and scalp. It is thought to be an immune system problem and is a long term chronic disease with no successful cure. It is painful, interferes with sleep and makes it hard to concentrate. Its triggers include infections, stress and cold. Sometimes the rashes also develop on nails and joints. Treatment includes removal of scales and stops skin cells from growing so quickly. Topical ointments, medications and light therapy offer relief to some extent. The patches on skin are thick, pink or red in color and are covered with white or silvery scales called plaques. It usually starts in early adulthood though it can begin later in life also. People of any age, gender or race can develop it.
Although the rashes can show up anywhere however, most common parts affected are-
Sometimes these plaques connect on skin of the affected person and cover a large area of the body. They make the affected person uncomfortable and self-conscious due to itchiness. Sometimes these scales tear from the skin and cause bleeding and form massive lesions. It can occur in any age but is common in the age group of 50-69. It is present worldwide.
It is believed that psoriasis is genetically predisposed disease, an autoimmune disease which can be provoked by external and internal triggers such as mild trauma, sunburn, stress, infections and systemic drugs, skin injury, lithium and beta-blocker medications, streptococcal infections, cold weather or extreme humidity etc. The immune system shows an overreacting immune response that causes inflammation and skin cells to grow very fast that surface on skin and build up forming silvery scales.
Read more on types of psoriasis in detail.
It causes great physical, emotional and social burden. Disfiguration of skin, disability and marked loss of productivity are common challenges faced with these patients. There is a significant cost to mental well-being such as high rates of depression due to skin appearances and pain, leading to negative impact on the sufferer and his surrounding society. Social exclusion, discrimination and stigma are mentally devastating for the individual who suffers psoriasis.
Treatment is largely based on controlling the symptoms. Topical and systemic therapies along with phototherapy are available. The need for treatment is lifelong and is aimed at remission. So far there is no therapy that gives a complete cure for this disease. However doctors give-
JOIN HANDS AND COME TOGETHER TO SPREAD AWARENESS THIS MONTH FOR THIS DESQUAMATIVE SKIN AILMENT.
Visit Project Global Cure to know more of such disabling diseases and educate one and all for them.