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Get to Know Psoriasis Better This August: Psoriasis Awareness Month 2023

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

Updated on August 6th, 2023

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Each August, we observe Psoriasis Awareness Month. An initiative that began back in October 1997, its mission is to deepen public understanding of psoriasis and arm patients with knowledge about its causes, triggers, and treatments. Utilizing various media outlets, the campaign aims to ensure that everyone has accurate information about psoriasis.

Despite its manageability, many people lack a basic understanding of psoriasis, underscoring the importance of campaigns like Psoriasis Awareness Month. It's not just about sharing medical facts, but also about debunking myths, dispelling misconceptions, and providing patients with practical tips. People with psoriasis often face inappropriate questions due to societal misunderstandings. This month-long awareness effort seeks to challenge and correct these misconceptions, supporting those living with the condition who may face stigma or exclusion.

How Can I Take Part in Psoriasis Awareness Month?

Participation can start with self-education. Psoriasis is a skin condition typified by itchy, scaly patches that often show up on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp. It can disrupt sleep, cause pain, and impact focus. The most common symptom is dry, thick, raised skin patches covered with a silvery-white coating or scale, which can lead to itching. However, manifestations can differ depending on the type of psoriasis, body areas affected, and the condition's extent.

Psoriasis includes types like plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, erythrodermic, nail, and psoriatic arthritis. Common triggers in genetically predisposed individuals can range from infections and injuries to certain medications.

Although there's no cure for psoriasis, various treatments can manage symptoms. They aim to slow skin cell growth and remove scales. Options vary from topical therapies like corticosteroids (e.g., triamcinolone and clobetasol), Vitamin D analogs (e.g., calcipotriene and calcitriol), retinoids (e.g., tazarotene), calcineurin inhibitors (e.g., tacrolimus and pimecrolimus), coal tar, anthralin, and salicylic acid shampoos. For moderate to severe psoriasis, oral or injected medications may be prescribed, including triamcinolone injection, biologics (e.g., infliximab, methotrexate, and cyclosporine). Phototherapy is another treatment choice. Treatment selection will depend on the severity of psoriasis, its responsiveness to prior treatments, and the patient's individual circumstances.

Participate in Psoriasis Awareness Month in the Following Ways:

1. Support Psoriasis-Focused Organizations: Donate to help fuel ongoing research for better psoriasis treatments. 2. Educate to Eliminate Misconceptions: Share accurate information about psoriasis with others. 3. Use Social Media for Good: Share relevant content, personal experiences, and educational resources to reach more people and create a supportive community for those living with psoriasis.

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