Each August, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) sponsors Psoriasis Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness, educating the public and dispelling myths about the disease.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis isn’t contagious, but awareness is. Learn more at www.psoriasis.org. Photo © National Psoriasis Foundation 2012.
Psoriasis is a chronic, noncontagious, genetic autoimmune disease that appears on the skin in red, scaly patches that itch, crack and bleed. It is the most common autoimmune disease in the country, affecting approximately 7.5 million Americans.
Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory type of arthritis that causes pain and swelling of the joints and tendons. People with mild psoriasis are just as likely to develop psoriatic arthritis as those with moderate to severe psoriasis.
What causes psoriasis?
Genetics and the immune system play a major role in the disease. In people with psoriasis, the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth of skin cells.
To develop psoriasis, a person must have a combination of the genes that cause psoriasis and be exposed to external “triggers.” Triggers include stress; injury to the skin, such as a tattoo or a scrape; smoking; and certain infections.
There is no cure for psoriasis, but many treatment options are available. Treatment is individualized for each person and depends on the severity of the disease, the type of psoriasis and how the person reacts to certain treatments.
Essential oils like lavender, frankincense,geranium and tea tree oil can bring relief to inflamed skin and support the healing process. Mix 3 drops of lavender oil and 3 drop of frankincense oil with 1 tsp of coconut oil and rub onto affected area.
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