GENESEO, N.Y., Aug. 7, 2023 – August is National Psoriasis Awareness Month and Livingston County is encouraging residents to learn more about the signs and symptoms of this disease and to talk to a healthcare provider about treatment options.
An immune-mediated chronic disease that has no clear cause, psoriasis is characterized by inflammation in the body that may cause plaques or scales due to an overactive immune system that speeds up skin growth. Inflammation related to psoriasis can have a negative impact across the body as it has been attributed psoriatic arthritis, swelling, stiffness and pain in and around the body’s joints.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 2-3 percent of the population in the United States, or roughly eight million adults, suffer from psoriasis, a non-contagious disease, while close to 125 million people worldwide suffer with the impacts of the illness.
Currently, scientists and healthcare officials are unsure of the underlying causes of psoriasis, however, it is thought that genetics and immune system health play a pivotal role. While its causes remain largely unknown, there are several factors that are thought to trigger psoriasis outbreaks including increased stress levels, an injury to one’s skin and certain medications. Furthermore, certain illnesses, colder weather, allergies, alcohol use and environmental factors are also thought to increase the odds of having a psoriasis flare.
While symptoms of psoriasis vary greatly from person to person, common signs include a patchy rash that varies widely in how it looks ranging from dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions over much of the body. Additionally, psoriasis may show as rashes that vary in color, small scaling spots, which are most commonly seen in children, dry, cracked skin that may bleed, itching, burning or soreness and cyclic rashes that flare for a few weeks or months and then subside.
Despite the absence of a cure, there are still several methods of treatment to help mitigate the impacts of psoriasis. Healthcare providers may recommend using medicated creams, ointments, gels and other forms of topical therapy to treat plaques, blisters, rashes and more. Additionally, light therapy has shown to be effective for some while pills and injections are commonly prescribed for others.
To learn more about psoriasis including treatments and other important information, talk to your healthcare provider and visit the National Psoriasis Foundation’s website.
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About Livingston County:
Founded in 1821, Livingston County, N.Y., is comprised of more than 61,000 residents in 17 towns located across 631 square miles of the Finger Lakes region.