Getting Serious About Psoriasis

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Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the US, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans. Now, through a new campaign called “Are You Serious?,” adults living with plaque psoriasis are invited to share their story of the moment they realized it was time to actively work with a dermatologist to take control of disease symptoms. 

 

What It Is

 

Plaque psoriasis is a chronic condition in which an overactive immune system causes a buildup of skin cells that appear on the body’s surface as raised red patches with silvery flakes. The effects of the disease can be devastating. A survey conducted by the NPF from 2004–2009 found that nearly 60 percent of 4,725 respondents with the condition indicated psoriasis symptoms were a large problem in their everyday lives.

 

The Doctor’s Advice

 

Dr. Stefan Weiss, a dermatologist with the Weiss Skin Institute, says, “Psoriasis is a serious auto­immune disease that appears on the skin. As a result of the physical and emotional impact of the disease, patients often feel embarrassed, which is why I recommend having honest and frank discussions with a dermatologist.” Dr. Weiss also explains, “Getting serious about psoriasis commonly begins with a particular experience that makes a patient realize it’s time to take control and manage his or her disease.”

 

Are You Serious About Psoriasis?

 

When Todd B., 48, was first diagnosed with plaque psoriasis, he never imagined the disease would impact him in so many ways. Oftentimes, he would try to hide his disease with clothing, even when it covered nearly 90 percent of his body. After a traumatic experience at the barber, however, he realized it was time to take control of his disease symptoms. He looks at that experience as his “serious about psoriasis” moment.

 

Todd is just one of millions who has a story to tell. He has since participated in the “Are You Serious?” educational campaign developed by Janssen Biotech, Inc. in partnership with the NPF for members of the psoriasis community to share their personal moment or experience that in­spired them to work closely with their dermatologist toward managing their disease.

 

The campaign website, SeriousAboutPsoriasis.com, features a Psoriasis Storytellers Network, where motivating stories from others are showcased to offer support and build community. The website also has helpful resources and perspectives from leading dermatologists, including Dr. Weiss, about topics related to psoriasis.

 

Individuals who share their story on the website will receive a free kit by mail that includes a psoriasis discussion guide and journal, body lotion and an awareness bracelet.