Psoriasis—It’s More Than ‘Just a Rash’
By Tai of Allsup
The term “psoriasis” often conjures images of large rashes and sores on the skin. It’s known to be an uncomfortable and embarrassing disease. Many people wonder, “Is it contagious?”
The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) answers that question with a loud and emphatic “No.” Psoriasis is not contagious.
National Psoriasis Awareness Month in August spotlights the work NPF is doing year-round—to dispel myths and educate the public on one of the most common autoimmune diseases. It affects about 7.5 million Americans.
In its most basic form, psoriasis can cause thick, silvery scales and dry, itchy patches to form on the skin’s surface. Many people don’t realize just how painful it can be.
For those with severe cases, it’s much more than a bad rash. For example, lesions can form on the soles of the feet, limiting mobility. Or, they can form on the palms of hands, making manual tasks like washing dishes or brushing your teeth difficult and painful.
Nearly one-third of people with the disease develop psoriatic arthritis. This severe condition causes pain and swelling of the joints and tendons. This form also can make it hard for individuals to sleep, sit, stand or walk.
Although there is no cure for psoriasis, some treatments are available.
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson offers a ray of hope to people with psoriasis. After his diagnosis with psoriatic arthritis in 2010, Mickelson sought treatment and continued training. He notched his latest win at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February.
To learn more about psoriasis and its treatment options, visit the National Psoriasis Foundation at http://www.psoriasis.org/.
Share your experience with psoriasis in Allsup’s Forum.