Psoriasis Awareness Month (August 2023)
Join the psoriasis community during the month of August to celebrate Psoriasis Awareness Month!
Psoriasis affects more than 1.6 million Australians and can affect anyone of us at any age. It is a condition that appears mostly in adults between the ages of 20 to 30 or between 50 to 60, but the cause of this condition is still undetermined. It could have links to genetics, immune system functions, ageing of the skin, and access to healthcare.
Psoriasis Awareness Month serves as a platform to raise awareness about psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune condition. The most common symptom of psoriasis is a rash on the skin caused by an overactive immune system that causes skin cells to multiply too quickly. Currently, there is no cure for the condition.
Psoriasis Awareness Month in August 2023 is integral for raising awareness and promoting empathy and support for individuals living with psoriasis. We can use this platform to emphasise the need to perceive psoriasis as a medical condition rather than a cosmetic issue and raise funds for more effective treatments.
What is Psoriasis Awareness Month?
Psoriasis Awareness Month happens every August and offers a valuable opportunity for those living with psoriasis, their loved ones, healthcare professionals and the broader community to come together and raise awareness. This dedicated month to psoriasis awareness aims to foster engagement, reduce stigma and increase understanding surrounding this chronic autoimmune condition.
By drawing attention to the effects and symptoms of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, we can actively strive to secure funding for research. Increased research in this area has the potential to encourage scientists and medical professionals to better understand the condition, leading to the development of more effective and targeted treatments.
By uniting through collective efforts in advocacy and funding, we can pave the way for a more informed and compassionate approach, improved outcomes, and a better quality of life for those living with psoriasis.
How can I get involved in Psoriasis Awareness Month?
We can spread the word about Psoriasis by participating in Psoriasis Awareness Month events and initiatives, such as educational campaigns, community gatherings, and fundraisers. Even talking about it with colleagues or sharing informative posts, every little helps to raise awareness and educate others about the misconceptions of psoriasis.
Share your Story
Sharing our personal stories can be a powerful way to reduce stigma and create a better understanding within our communities. The month of August provides a good opportunity to share in solidarity with others who have stories about their experiences. If public speaking fills you with fear, you could reach out to local newspapers or take advantage of social media platforms to share your story.
Get involved with psoriasis research
If you live with psoriasis, you can personally contribute to the study of this condition by signing up for a clinical trial or registry. Studies can help scientists improve treatment options for doctors and patients and sharing your experience can also help researchers to better understand how they can help. Speak to your doctor if you are interested in participating in research.
Events and fundraisers
Find events happening in your area or even consider volunteering for local initiatives. Alternatively, you could organise your own event to learn, exchange stories or fundraise for advocacy groups and organisations dedicated to supporting individuals with psoriasis such as Psoriasis Australia. When we participate in events, we can actively contribute to the effort, learn more about the cause, meet interesting and like-minded people and help to make a positive difference in the world.
Wear a psoriasis ribbon
Psoriasis is celebrated with the colours lavender and orange, and many people who wish to raise awareness for skin conditions wear these colours as a ribbon pin. Dress yourself in lavender and orange, get yourself a ribbon pin or make your own and add it to your attire for the month of August to help brew up some conversations.
Is there a national day for psoriasis?
World Psoriasis Day is celebrated each year on October 29th. This gives us more opportunity on a global scale to share information and spread awareness about Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, so that more people living with the condition can have access to treatment and live a better quality of life.
As with most medical research and breakthroughs, this past century we have seen awareness for psoriasis reach new heights. The disease was recognised as a separate entity from leprosy in 1840. Before that time, it was widely believed to be contagious and deadly. The first customised treatment for psoriasis only came about in 1970. Before that, many treatments for the condition were more dangerous than they were helpful.
New research in 2019 that links the risk of developing cancer with those who live with psoriasis, goes to show it’s more important than ever to raise awareness and increase funds for the study of this disease.
Why is psoriasis awareness important?
Psoriasis awareness month provides an outlet for those living with the condition to come together, share their stories and unite with others. It also serves as an opportunity to enlighten the general public and dispel misinformation around the condition.
Sadly, people with psoriasis often endure feelings of stigmatisation and isolation due to the many misconceptions surrounding the condition. Due to the noticeable rash that psoriasis portrays on the skin, many people still assume that it is contagious—a notion which is unequivocally false.
Some people with the condition may not even know that they have it and due to social stigmas feel the need to cover it up or isolate themselves altogether. The more we share about the condition, the more people can receive the information and treatment they deserve.
While the exact cause of psoriasis remains uncertain, so far experts understand that it can be hereditary and results from changes in the immune system. Although genetics play a big role in the development of psoriasis, the condition still needs to be triggered. Triggers such as stress, skin injuries (like bad sunburn or a cut), an infection or just cold, dry weather can cause it to flair up.
With the help of heightened psoriasis awareness, we can perpetuate research towards a better understanding and treatments for those living with the condition.