August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, and for the 8 million Americans with psoriasis, it’s a big deal. This month is an opportunity to inform and educate those that have psoriasis about what triggers it and how it is managed. It also serves as a time to make the public aware of the signs and symptoms that those diagnosed with experience daily.
What is Psoriasis?
In people with psoriasis, their skin grows at an abnormally faster rate, causing the buildup of skin in lesions or patches. Psoriasis often develops between the ages of 15 and 35, though it can develop at any age. Men and women are equally affected, and it can appear anywhere. There are five types of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is the most common kind. The lesions are raised, red, and may have silvery, white scales. They appear on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. Below are the other four types:
- Guttate– Small, pink, individual spots. Found on the torso, arms, and legs.
- Pustular-Yellow blisters of pus surrounded by red skin. Found in localized areas such as hands and feet or covering the body.
- Inverse– Bright red lesions that are smooth and shiny. Located in the skin folds such as the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and around the genitals and buttocks.
- Erythrodermic– Scales shed in sheets. Fiery redness of the skin. Located anywhere on the body.
When to See a Doctor
If you have a rash that doesn’t go away with anything you have tried over the counter, it’s time to see your doctor. A dermatologist can accurately diagnose and treat any skin condition since they specialize in them. Approximately 30% of those diagnosed with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis. PsA causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in and around the joints, and if not adequately treated, it can cause a long-term range of motion and mobility issues.
While typical, the rate at which new psoriasis treatments are reaching the market is still very slow. Although available treatments can effectively manage most patient’s symptoms, they don’t always protect the quality of life of those with more severe cases. Research studies continue to evaluate potential new options and help decide their safety and effectiveness. New biologics and oral injectables are being explored since they have done so well in managing psoriasis in the past.
If you have been diagnosed with psoriatic disease, clinical research studies may be an option. To learn more about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis studies enrolling here at ForCare, visit our website to browse all options.