National Psoriasis Awareness Month—How Much Do You Know? Take Our Quiz to Find Out!

Did you know that August is National Psoriasis Awareness month? The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) works hard during this month and throughout the rest of the year to let people know about this disease—what it is, what it isn’t, and how individuals and families can cope.

How much do you know about psoriasis? Try answering these questions and find out how knowledgeable you are!

Psoriasis Quiz

Answer true or false on your own, then read on for the answers. No peeking!

1. Psoriasis can be spread by touching people who have it.
2. Psoriasis can’t be treated—if you have it, you just have to live with it.
3. Psoriasis can develop if you have poor hygiene.
4. Psoriasis is just a cosmetic condition.
5. Psoriasis creates only physical side effects.

Psoriasis Answers

  1. False. Many people think that psoriasis is contagious, but it’s not. You can’t catch it from someone else. The condition does not develop as a result of an infection, bacterial or viral. Instead, it is an autoimmune condition, caused by a dysfunctional disorder of the immune system. Someone with psoriasis has an immune system that mistakenly accelerates the normal life cycle of skin cells, causing the buildup of excess dead skin cells on the surface of skin. This results in thick, silvery, scale-like patches on the skin, usually on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back.
  2. False. Though there is no cure for psoriasis, there are treatments that can help control symptoms. Topical creams and ointments, light therapies, and medications can all help. New drugs called “biologics” have shown particular promise in helping to reduce flare-ups. CV Skinlabs also has a psoriasis page that lists several natural tips to help manage psoriasis itching and pain.
  3. False. Hygiene has nothing to do with psoriasis, since it is an autoimmune condition. Regular cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliating, however, can help reduce flare-ups and relieve itching and dryness. Managing stress can also help.
  4. False. Though psoriasis causes difficult patches of scaly skin, it can also cause other side effects. The disease may affect fingernails and toenails, for example, causing them to pull away from the nail bed. Some people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. Several hospital-based studies have also indicated that people with psoriasis are more at risk for cardiovascular diseases. One study, for example, found that patients with severe psoriasis have a 53 percent increased incidence of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death.
  5. False. As I mentioned in a former post, psoriasis can significantly affect self-confidence and self-esteem. Those who have it report feeling self-conscious, and many dress to try to hide the scaly patches. Over half reported in a NPF survey that their psoriasis interfered with their ability to enjoy life. This is why it’s especially important to get all the help you need to deal with flare-ups, so you can reduce the visible effects of the disease and get back to feeling confident again.

Supporting Research for a Cure

How did you do? Knowing more about psoriasis is important not only for those that have it, but their friends and family as well. If you know someone with the condition, you can offer a lot of support by being more knowledgeable.

If you’d like to make a donation to research seeking a cure for psoriasis, check out this page at the NPF. You can also join others making a difference by finding one of the annual “Walks to Cure Psoriasis” events near you. There are several occurring through the remainder of the year.

Throughout the rest of August, you can still participate in the “Psoriasis Photo Contest” sponsored by the NPF. The winner receives a Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR camera! Deadline is August 31, 2012.

Meanwhile, if you have psoriasis, here are some great CV Skinlabs products that may help. Go shopping at cvskinlabs.com.

  • Calming Moisture for Face, Neck & Scalp: aloe vera and oat extract reduce redness and itch while this lotion soothes and hydrates.
  • Repair Body Lotion: beta glucan and St. John’s wort possess super moisturizing, collagen-boosting and wound healing properties.
  • Restorative Skin Balm: carnauba and bee’s wax safeguard the moisture barrier; perfect for hydrating and soothing extra dry patches of skin.

Do you have psoriasis? How do you reduce flare-ups? Please share your tips.

Picture courtesy National Psoriasis Foundation.

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