Read a short note from Dr. Amit Arwindekar on Psoriasis Action Month:

psoriasis-action-monthAugust is Psoriasis Action Month, an opportunity to raise awareness and fight the stigma around this very visible disease. Psoriasis is a skin disease which causes red, itchy scaly patches on the skin of people of all ages and ethnicities. People with psoriasis can also have a host of other medical issues include painful joints, stomach/intestinal issues and other medical problems.1 According to the World Health Organization (WHO) at least 100 million individuals affected worldwide. The highly visible skin lesions can make people feel very self-conscious and insecure leading to a variety of mental health issues, such as low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.2 People with psoriasis are sometimes stigmatised by others who are afraid of catching the condition leading to isolation and fear. Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be spread person to person.

Psoriasis is a chronic, but controllable disease and patients must ensure they seek the correct treatment to control symptoms.3 Treatment of psoriasis often includes topical treatments, phototherapy or systemic treatments which work throughout the whole body.4 Many people suffering from psoriasis encounter barriers to quality care including lack of knowledge about the disease from trained professionals, high treatment costs, limited access to healthcare, and the common misunderstanding that psoriasis is contagious.5 If you know someone who suffers from psoriasis, encourage them to get regular check-ups and ensure they’re seeking the right treatment to reduce their symptoms.- Dr. Amit Arwindekar, Medical Director, North America, UnitedHealthcare Global