August is Psoriasis Awareness Month which aims to help affected people feel supported, raise awareness and give the public a better understanding of the disease.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that typically causes an inflamed, itchy, scaly rash, usually on knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp.
There are several different types of psoriasis, and they can flare up for a few weeks or months at a time. It can even cause destructive swelling and pain in joints, which is called psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis Association of South Africa
The Psoriasis Association of South Africa’s (SAPSA) can offer the following for patients:
- Information about their condition
- Inspire emotional confidence
- Encourage engagement with other affected members.
- More than eight million people in the United States and 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis, according to National Psoriasis Foundation. There is no treatment for it yet.
- An estimated 30% of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis.
- Psoriasis has a greater impact on quality of life in women and younger patients.
- Individuals with psoriasis have higher rates of many comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and depression.
- Psoriasis can appear at any age, but it most often appears between the ages of 20-30 and between the ages of 50-60.
- Psoriatic arthritis usually occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can develop at any age.
“We firmly believe that people with psoriasis need to know that they’re not alone. That’s why, each of our volunteers have some form of psoriasis themselves. This makes it easier for them to relate educate and support our members,” it states.
SAPSA and the public
SAPSA also want to encourage members of the public to learn more about this condition. For instance, it’s important for non-sufferers to know that people with psoriasis are prone to developing bouts of depression, which can potentially lead to suicide. They hope to inspire and educate communities by:
- Participating in World Psoriasis Day
- Raising funds for medical research
- Drawing attention to advocacy and campaigns
- Eradicating misconceptions about the condition.
SAPSA relies on membership fees, sponsorship and fund raisers to cover operational costs. “With your help, we can encourage sufferers of psoriasis to bravely step into the light, to be seen and heard.”
Source: https://www.moh.gov.sa , Psoriasis Association of South Africa: https://psoriasis.org.za/about/