August is National Psoriasis Month, so we thought it was the perfect time to share some Psoriasis facts to help de-stigmatize the disease and provide useful information for living with this chronic condition.
- You cannot “catch” Psoriasis. It is not contagious. Psoriasis is an immune response whereby T cells attack healthy skin cells.
- Psoriasis is relatively common, affecting nearly 2% of the population. Over 8 million Americans have Psoriasis.
- Individuals can experience symptoms at any age; however, it is most common in young adults between the ages of 15 and 35.
- Symptoms include itchy, sore patches of thick, red skin that often times has a dry scaly appearance.
- Most Psoriasis sufferers experience abnormally dry and painful patches of skin on their elbows, knees or scalp. Nevertheless, they can occur on other areas of the body including the face.
- Skin flare-ups may worsen with stress, smoking, heavy alcohol use, obesity, cold weather and certain medications.
- There is no cure for Psoriasis; however, there are treatments. Lotions, warm baths (not hot baths) with Epsom salt or oatmeal can help relieve symptoms to reduce redness, itching and scaling. For more severe cases, there are topical medications, pills and injections administered by a licensed physician.
- Recent research has shown that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats and fish may help to reduce flare-ups.
If topical remedies do not provide relief, it is best to see a licensed dermatologist or physician to discuss a treatment plan.