August is Psoriasis Awareness Month | FAQs about Psoriasis

August is Psoriasis Awareness month, which is an ideal month to be aware of psoriasis since the sun can help clear up some forms of psoriasis.  The National Psoriasis Foundation, https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/, says that “Psoriasis affects more than 8 million people in the United States.” Hopefully, by sharing information about psoriasis, we can mitigate the chances of getting it or treat the symptoms.

Q:  What is psoriasis?

A: Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder caused by an overactive immune system. According to Outcome Health’s article, https://www.outcomehealth.com/heartbeat/august-is-psoriasis-awareness-month, psoriasis are skin cells regenerating faster than normal rate, resulting in red, scaly patches on the skin that become itchy and inflamed.  Most often, psoriasis affects the scalp, elbows, and knees.

Q: Is there a link between psoriasis and cancer?

A: According to Harvard Health Publishing’ article, “Psoriasis and cancer: What’s the link?”, The JAMA Dermatology study focused on data from previous studies analyzed between April 9, 2018, and February 22, 2019. The researchers found that people with psoriasis had an increased risk of developing cancers including colon, kidney, laryngeal, liver, lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, esophageal, oral, and pancreatic cancers. They also found that people with severe psoriasis who developed cancer also increased the overall risk of dying.

Q: Is psoriasis contagious? 

A:  Even though psoriasis looks ugly, The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/what/contagious, assures us that we cannot get psoriasis from someone else; therefore, it is not contagious.

Q: What triggers psoriasis and/or psoriasis flare-ups?

A: Stress is a common trigger and dry skin, infections such as strep throat, weakened immune systems, skin injuries, cold weather, smoking, diabetes, heavy alcohol consumption, and medication use.  The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal & Skin,  https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/psoriasis#tab-causes say that Doctors still do not understand what triggers psoriasis; however, many people who have the disease also have a family history of psoriasis.  

Q: Who gets psoriasis?

A: Psoriasis.org https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/ says that “Men, women, and children of all colors can get psoriasis.” Symptoms can start anywhere from ages 15 to 25.

Q: How many kinds of psoriasis are there?

A: the AAD’s blog https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/what/look-like indicates that there are several different types of psoriasis. The articles say that most people have “plaque” psoriasis, which makes up about 80 percent of those diagnosed, and it is possible to have more than one type of psoriasis. Here is a list of a few different types of psoriasis: scalp, nail, guttate, inverse, pustular, generalized pustular. Visit the blog to learn more.

Q: Is there psoriasis treatment?

A:  The National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/psoriasis#tab-overview website, that psoriasis is a long-lasting disease. A treatment plan will develop a treatment plan depending on the psoriasis type you diagnosed.  The treatments help keep the symptoms under control since currently, there is no cure for the disease.   Your treatment may include medication put on your skin like creams, ointments, foams, or a pill. The other treatment may include phototherapy, where the doctor shines an ultraviolet light on your skin.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article helps shed some light on psoriasis. Unfortunately, this information does not suggest how people with psoriasis may reduce their risk of developing cancer. But several lifestyle modifications could help decrease the risk of getting cancer, such as quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, eating healthier, and regular moderate exercise.

To learn more about the cancers we treat, our treatment options, or our oncologists and medical team of professionals, contact us at253-382-6300.

References

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month. Outcome Health. (2020, August 17). https://www.outcomehealth.com/heartbeat/august-is-psoriasis-awareness-month.

Dominic Wu, M. D. (2019, December 5). Psoriasis and cancer: What’s the link? Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/psoriasis-and-cancer-whats-the-link-2019120518320.

Is psoriasis contagious? American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.). https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/what/contagious.

National Psoriasis Foundation. (n.d.). Causes, Triggers, and Treatments. Psoriasis. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2021, February 5). Psoriasis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/psoriasis#tab-causes.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2021, February 5). Psoriasis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/psoriasis#tab-overview.

What does psoriasis look like? American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.). https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/what/look-like.