August is Psoriasis Awareness Month! Let’s break the silence by talking about its facts, and complications.
Psoriasis is a condition that affects the skin (most often on the knees, elbows, and scalp) of about 7.5 million Americans. However, it is not a disease we talk about very often.
As part of Psoriasis Awareness month, we would like to take a moment to talk about this misunderstood condition.
Here are some facts about psoriasis:
- Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to produce new skin cells in a shorter period of time. The extra cells pile up and become thick and scaly patches of skin.
- This condition is not contagious or just cosmetic.
- There are several types of psoriasis, but the most common is plaque psoriasis. This type of psoriasis affects 80 – 90% of psoriatic patients.
- The lesions can appear anywhere in the body but the lesions tend to develop in the knees, elbows, scalp and lower back.
- Psoriasis may contribute to the development of other diseases such as:
- Cancer: Studies have shown that people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis may increase the risk of developing lymphoma or non-melanoma skin cancer. People with psoriasis should consider taking regular cancer screening checkups as part of their health action plan.
- Cardiovascular disease: According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, people with severe psoriasis are 43% more likely to suffer from a stroke and 58% more likely to experience a major cardiac event. However, good management of your psoriasis may prevent or reduce the risk of suffering from a cardiovascular condition.
- Depression: People with psoriasis are often misunderstood and judged for the lesions on their skin. The emotional distress caused by the condition may leave the patients feeling sad, embarrassed, and contribute to low self-esteem and the development of different mood disorders. It is important for psoriasis patients to talk to their family, friends or a medical professional if they are experiencing depression symptoms due to their psoriasis.
Psoriasis may also contribute to the development of kidney disease, Crohn’s Disease, Metabolic Syndrome, obesity, osteoporosis and liver disease.
Although there is no cure for psoriasis, researchers are searching for new treatment options for the condition. At Texas Dermatology and Laser Specialists, we are committed to understanding the condition and helping the medical community test potential new treatment options.
Our research department is currently seeking volunteers with psoriasis to participate in one of our research studies. Those that qualify may receive study-related care and medication at no cost, have access to possible new treatment options and receive compensation for time and travel.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with psoriasis, consider a research study as an option. Click HERE to learn more about our studies!