Psoriasis Awareness Month or Psoriasis Action Month holds throughout August yearly. This holiday aims to educate the public about psoriasis and enlighten patients on topics surrounding causes, triggers, and treatment methods. The event was first observed in October 1997 as a full-scale national awareness campaign, publicizing relevant facts about psoriasis through newspapers, radio, and television. Thankfully, psoriasis is treatable; however, dissemination of vital information on all aspects of the disease is necessary, which is the aim of this month.
History of Psoriasis Awareness Month
National Psoriasis Awareness Month began in 1997 as an initiative of the National Psoriasis Foundation (N.P.F.). It was initially observed in October but was later moved to August because there were already numerous awareness days in October. Another important reason for the change was that August is a time of year that allows for activities, such as swimming and sunbathing, which expose the skin. Moreover, the sun has a positive effect on psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a condition characterized by scaly, red, and raised patches on the skin, especially on the elbows, knees, and scalp; however, it could also affect other areas in the body. Psoriasis often causes itching, burning, and stinging in affected areas. Though its etiology is unclear to medical experts, psoriasis occurs when the life cycle of skin cells increases, causing a buildup of excess skin cells that form red patches and scales. Scientists believe that genetics and the immune system are contributory factors to the development of psoriasis.
Psoriasis affects people differently, with varying levels of severity. For severe cases, 10% or more of the patient’s skin may be affected by the disease. In mild cases, less than 3% is affected by psoriasis; however, psoriasis affects between 3% to 10% of the skin in moderate cases. Because psoriasis is often cyclical, particular triggers, such as infections, skin injuries, heavy alcohol consumption, vitamin D deficiency, stress, emotional trauma, certain medications, and smoking, may lead to an episode. Thankfully, psoriasis has various treatment options — creams and ointments can clear skin patches in mild-to-moderate cases. Light therapy, including U.V.B. phototherapy, Goeckerman therapy, and psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA), can also be employed. For severe psoriasis, retinoids, methotrexate, and cyclosporine are the drugs of choice.
Psoriasis Awareness Month timeline
‘Psora,’ meaning ‘desquamative ailment,’ is first used by Galen.
Robert Willan, the ‘Grandfather of Dermatology,’ becomes the first to give a clearly-defined description of psoriasis.
Ferdinand von Hebra becomes the first to dissociate leprosy from psoriasis, leading to the ultimate separation of the two disease entities.
Psoriasis Awareness Month holds for the first time in October.
“Psoriasis Awareness Month” is renamed “Psoriasis Action Month” during the event’s 20th anniversary.
Psoriasis Awareness Month FAQs
How do you diagnose psoriasis?
A dermatologist examines the individual’s skin, nails, and scalp or recommends a biopsy.
Is psoriasis contagious through kissing?
No, it is not. You also cannot catch the condition by brushing up against someone who has it or swimming in the same water.
Is there a psoriasis Foundation?
On March 14, 1967, the National Psoriasis Foundation began as the Psoriasis Society of Oregon.
How to Observe Psoriasis Awareness Month
Donate to a psoriasis-centered organization. Donations go a long way in funding more research on the disease and assisting individuals unable to afford proper treatment.
Join the campaign to end misinformation on psoriasis. Enlighten people using facts to dispel myths and encourage patients to seek proper treatment.
Let others know that August is Psoriasis Awareness Month. Paste a flier on your window or volunteer at a psoriasis organization to fight against psoriasis.
5 Important Facts About Psoriasis
This is the most common type of psoriasis and manifests as raised, red patches covered by a white buildup of cells.
This type of psoriasis is common in children and young adults and usually appears as lesions.
This type of psoriasis usually appears as red lesions in skin folds, such as behind the knees, the breast folds, the armpits, and the groin.
It causes white skin eruptions and commonly occurs on the hands and feet.
This type of psoriasis leads to painful and itchy redness over large areas of the skin.
Why Psoriasis Awareness Month is Important
Awareness is created
Continuous awareness of psoriasis is necessary as some people are unaware of its existence. This month provides ample time for circulating accurate information about psoriasis and tips to help patients.
People with psoriasis often get asked annoying and offensive questions about their disease because of false societal beliefs. Psoriasis Awareness Month helps dispel such false beliefs and information that people have about psoriasis.
Support for patients
Some patients with psoriasis are stigmatized and ostracized because of their skin condition, which should not be the case. Psoriasis Awareness Month helps tackle this bias.
Psoriasis Awareness Month dates