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Statistics of psoriasis
Psoriasis is very common. In fact, 8 million Americans have it and around the world, 125 million people have it as well. Prominent celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, Kris Jenner, and Cara Delevigne have spoken publicly about how they struggle with the disease. Though they have done their part in spreading awareness. Myths about the disease are still very prevalent. When you think about it, you may picture patches of red inflamed skin. However, this isn’t exclusively a skin condition.
Psoriasis and the quality of life
A lot of patients with psoriasis report that it’s taken a toll on their quality of life. Did you know that people with it may have an increased likelihood of becoming depressed? Even if you don’t have it, you should get educated about the disease so you can stop the stigma. You should know about the symptoms and potential treatments. If you have it, more information can help you figure out how to live with the disease.
These are the five essential facts you need to know about psoriasis.
1) It Isn’t Exclusively A Skin Condition
Why is psoriasis so often mistaken for solely being a skin condition? A common manifestation of psoriasis is causing skin cells to grow at a rapid pace. Which then subsequently leads to the buildup of scaly red lesions. This can result in itchiness or a burning sensation. Though this is a frequent symptom of psoriasis, it’s not just a skin condition. It’s an autoimmune disease, meaning that it happens when the immune system starts attacking its own tissues by mistake. This difference is crucial to understanding it.
2) There Are Various Kinds of Psoriasis
Though some forms of psoriasis are more widespread than others. It’s important to get educated about the various types so you understand what’s happening to your body. If you don’t understand that there are different forms of it, you won’t be able to get the proper treatment. Here are the various types of psoriasis:
This is the most widespread form of psoriasis. It’s characterized as patches of red skin that’s covered with a white buildup of dead skin cells. The most common parts of the body affected by this form of it are the lower back, knees, and scalp.
This is the second most common form of the disease, affecting 10 percent of people who have psoriasis. It manifests as tiny red dots and can show up as strep throat infection. Additionally, it usually develops in young adulthood or childhood.
Pustular psoriasis typically manifests in the hands or feet. It appears as white blisters of pus and red skin. Pustular psoriasis isn’t contagious — the pus contains white blood cells.
This is a very severe type of it and it manifests as redness that spreads over the majority of the body. Erythrodermic psoriasis may lead to feelings of itchiness and pain. Though it is quite severe, it’s also pretty rare: just 3 percent of people diagnosed with psoriasis get it.
This form of the disease manifests beneath the arm, the groin area, and on the other side of the knee. For many people with inverse psoriasis. It’s their second form of the disease and they simultaneously have it in other parts of their bodies.
3) Psoriasis and Eczema Are Different:
You have probably heard someone mistake it with eczema. Why are they so interchangeable? Since both can lead to rashes and red patches on the skin that are highly irritating. It’s understandable that people get confused. But they are actually completely different. While it is an autoimmune disease, eczema is a chronic skin condition. To stay on top of your health, you need to know what exactly is happening to your body. If you think you have eczema or psoriasis. You should discuss your symptoms with a healthcare provider who can give you a proper diagnosis. You no longer have to worry about waiting in a crowded doctor’s office. Telehealth companies now offer online consultations with healthcare providers. So you can virtually discuss your symptoms and get the help you need.
4) It Doesn’t Only Affect Adults
While it typically manifests in people who are between the ages of 15 and 25. People can start developing symptoms at any point in their life. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, 20,000 children who are younger than the age of 10 have it as well.
5) There Is No Cure For it
Although there is no cure for it since it’s a lifelong condition. There are treatments that can help you manage the symptoms of the disease. Managing the disease can help you have a healthy, productive life. A doctor with a background in dermatology can prescribe or recommend these treatments:
Your doctor can prescribe this treatment that you can use on affected areas of your body.
Phototherapy (light therapy):
Phototherapy involves using UVB light to decrease inflammation and itchiness.
There are many creams and lotions that can help hydrate your skin so you can mitigate it.
Biologic or Systemic Drugs:
Taken orally these drugs can manage the body’s inflammatory and immune response.
Despite being so common, there is still a lot of misinformation out there about psoriasis. Regardless of intentions, myths about the disease lead to the stigma that makes life more difficult for people who have it. Education is crucial to understanding how this disease affects millions of people. Have a conversation with a colleague, loved one, or friend about the disease and make sure they know the facts. For example, if you hear someone mistake eczema for it, politely correct them and explain how they are different. Let people know that psoriasis is common and thanks to cutting-edge treatments, it’s symptoms are manageable. Let’s all do our part in spreading the truth. Also, check out this post on thinning skin too.
Amelia Ma is a freelance writer from Burlingame, California. She enjoys writing articles for professionals that are about self-improvement, health, and wellness.