What it is and what you can do about it.


When wearing summer clothes, the last thing you would want to see is a red rash.  Hopefully it goes away, but what if it doesn’t?  More teens than you think deal with this problem every day.  In fact, many people develop psoriasis in their teenage years.  In honor of Psoriasis Awareness Month, here are some quick facts about the disease.


So, what is psoriasis?

Psoriasis appears as a red, scaly rash most commonly found on the scalp, knees, and elbows.  It forms when skin cells reproduce at quicker rate than normal which causes the cells to build up and create raised patches on the body.  Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, meaning it is caused when a certain gene controlling the immune system cannot tell the difference between fighting harmful invaders and fighting its own body,ultimately causing inflammation and the build-up of skin cells. Because of this, certain diseases such as strep throat and bronchitis can trigger psoriasis.  Psoriasis can also lead to psoriatic arthritis, which causes painful swelling in joints.


Who gets psoriasis?

Most people develop psoriasis between the age of 15-35, and almost 7.5 million people in the United States are living with psoriasis. In addition, approximately one-third of those who get psoriasis are under 20 years old when the disease first appears.


Can I catch psoriasis?

No! Psoriasis is not contagious! One cannot spread or receive psoriasis from another person.


How should I deal with my psoriasis?

Currently, there is no cure for psoriasis, but there is hope! While different treatments work for different people, it is generally beneficial to:

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Limit Stress
  • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Apply moisturizers daily and wear sunscreen
  • Talk to friends or a trusted adult about how you feel. Many teens with psoriasis have an increased risk of depression, so it is important to ask for support if you need it.
  • Talk to your doctor about possible treatments. Psoriasis can be well managed with different treatments that can include topical lotions, oral medications, or even phototherapy.


I think I have Psoriasis, what should I do?

Talk to your pediatrician and schedule an appointment with your dermatologist! Seeing a doctor is the only way to get an accurate diagnosis and to start your treatment.  Check out www.psoriasis.org for more information and possible ways you can help treat your psoriasis.

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