August is Psoriasis Awareness Month and brings attention to the autoimmune disorder that affects over 125 million people worldwide. There are many different types of psoriasis, but plaque psoriasis makes up over 80% of those diagnosed. This disorder mainly affects the skin, but can lead to joint pain, and other circulatory and cardiovascular issues if left untreated. Your primary care physician can diagnose psoriasis, but they may refer you to a dermatologist for more specialized treatment.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder caused by an overactive immune system. Skin cells regenerate at a faster than normal rate resulting in red, scaly patches on the skin which can become itchy and inflamed. Those diagnosed have a higher risk for developing other conditions like hypertension, diabetes, obesity and psoriatic arthritis – which is stiffness and swelling in the joints caused by psoriasis. Genetics play a large role in developing the condition, but environmental factors can cause flare ups as well. Stress, smoking, sunlight exposure, and heavy alcohol consumption can all lead to a worsening of symptoms. Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be passed via skin to skin contact.
Can psoriasis be cured?
There is currently no cure for psoriasis, but there are many treatment options available depending on the severity of your condition. Most doctors will begin treatment with a topical corticosteroid in the form of an ointment, cream, or shampoo. Psoriasis can also be treated with oral or injected medications. Certain light therapies are effective too. Over-the-counter products made with coal tar or salicylic acid are FDA approved for treating psoriasis, but only use these products under a doctor’s close supervision. If you think you are developing psoriasis, talk to your physician for a proper diagnosis and a treatment plan that is catered to your symptoms.
Psoriasis Awareness at the Point of Care
Outcome Health is committed to keeping psoriasis patients informed at the point of care. Our content includes 3D anatomical models and informational posters (like the image above) on our Exam Room Wallboard, and informative videos playing on our Waiting Room TV and Exam Room Tablet. Through patient stories, treatment guides, and condition models, our content fosters informed discussions between patients and physicians during moments that matter most.