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Psoriasis Awareness Month

Psoriasis is a difficult disease of the epidermis caused by the immune system. It results in raised patches appearing on the skin. These patches tend to be red and scaly in appearance, and tend to appear on sensitive areas including the front and backs of joints as well as on one’s head. Unfortunately, Psoriasis also correlates with other conditions, some of which have very serious ramifications. These include diabetes, depression, and heart disease.

The best way to check if you have Psoriasis is through contact with your doctor. You should speak to them if you suffer from a rash and are unable to rid yourself of it with over the counter medication. There is no other way to be sure without the presence of symptoms, because the causes of Psoriasis are, currently, unknown. There is still hope, progress is being made, and certain key pieces of information with regard to Psoriasis’ origin are available. First, we know that genetics, as well as one’s immune system, are key to the development of the disease- which results from unusual skin growth rates. This excessive growth forms the lesions that are specific to the disease.

 Demographically, Psoriasis is of interest. It occurs equally in males and females, but more commonly in Caucasians than in African Americans. Any person can develop the affliction at any age, but you stand the highest risk of development between the ages of 15 and 35. On the bright side, Psoriasis is completely non-contagious- so there is no requirement for separation of an afflicted person with others. Actual diagnosis is fascinating- there is no specific tool or test for the job. A simple inspection from a knowledgeable dermatologist can be enough to confirm the presence of the disease, and if further study is needed, a biopsy, or piece of the affected area, is taken to be observed under a microscope. When observed microscopically, Psoriasis is distinguishable from Eczema by its increased thickness and inflammation. Additional information regarding family skin history can, if need be, also be taken into account during diagnosis. This is due to the propensity of Psoriasis to run in families, as a result of its genetically affected nature.

The program for Psoriasis Awareness Month will be separated into four distinct sections; one for each week. The first week, Week 1, is “Get Involved” week, in which general information about treatment and management of Psoriasis is widely spread. Following this is “Get Healthy” Week. Maintaining general body health, ranging from getting sufficient sleep to consuming enough nutrients, is key to Psoriasis management, which is what Week 2 sets out to promote. Week 3, “Get Involved” Week, invites people to join and support whatever benevolent organizations they can that will aid in treatment of this disease. Finally, Week 4 is “Get Connected” Week, in which patients are encouraged to be vocal with each other and the world in their struggle against Psoriasis.

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