It is hard to believe that it is already August. Although this month can be a little chaotic, as summer activities begin to wind down and kids get ready to go back to school, it is important to still take care of yourself and your health. August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, a serious medical condition that affects 7.5 million people in the United States. It occurs in all age groups, and appears about equally in males and females. It is important to be aware the signs and symptoms, as psoriasis can have a substantial psychological and emotional impact on patients.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common, chronic, inflammatory disease of the immune system that mostly involves the skin and joints. It also may affect the fingernails, toenails, soft tissues of the genitals and inside the mouth. Psoriasis is caused by overactive T cells in the immune system that trigger increased production of skin cells. These extra skin cells collect on the surface of the skin and form red, raised, scaly patches. It is not contagious but it may be hereditary. Lesions may be itchy and painful, and the psychological effects of the disease can be severe. Other diseases and conditions can be associated with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression. The prevalence of depression in patients with psoriasis may be as high as 50%. Studies have shown that psoriasis patients experience physical and mental disability just like patients with other chronic illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.
While there is no known cure for psoriasis, a wide array of treatment options can usually alleviate the symptoms. Your Trillium Creek Dermatology & Surgery Center skin experts will formulate a multi-faceted treatment plan depending on the variety, severity and longevity of your condition. Treatments include topical lotions, ointments shampoos, ultraviolet light therapy using both UVA and UVB and system-wide medications including biologicals aimed at controlling T cell production. Our new Aerolase LightPod Neo® is also a new treatment option for those suffering from psoriasis.
We encourage patients who have psoriasis to take an active role in managing this disease and make an appointment with one of our skin experts today. By taking an active role, you can reduce the effects that psoriasis has on your overall quality of life.