For some time, strange and unfamiliar diseases have fascinated and challenged doctors and scientists—psoriasis is one such illness. Psoriasis is not a disease the general public knows much about. Unless you have some sort of personal experience with psoriasis, news and information concerning the disease likely doesn’t make it to you. As scientists and doctors continue to learn more about this debilitating disease, more and more efforts are being made to bring greater awareness to the issue worldwide. Psoriasis has long been considered a tragic and irritating skin condition, causing skin redness and discomfort. Most individuals with the disease have thick, red skin with flaky patches.
This year marks the third gathering of the World Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Conference. This conference aims to provide a forum for researchers and clinicians active within the fields of dermatology and rheumatology to present and discuss the most recent developments in research, medicine and technology, pertaining to psoriatic disease. While this is the primary interest of this conference, those attending also feel strongly about psoriasis as a global health challenge that needs to be taken more seriously. As one of the most common diseases in the country, better awareness and recognition of the disease as a global issue can help sufferers around the world gain access to better care and treatment.
Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune-related systemic disease that has a huge impact on the daily lives of the more than 125 million people worldwide who suffer from it. With such a large number of sufferers all around the world, it is unique that the disease has gained so little general recognition throughout the population. While a thorough understanding of the disease is unreached, doctors believe that it probably occurs when the body’s immune system mistakes healthy cells for a pathogen. This reaction causes faulty signals to be sent out that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Those with the disease suffer largely from irritated, red, flaky patches of skin, joint pain and aching, nail changes, and dandruff. While these are common symptoms, not all occur in every patient and the severity of the degree varies widely from one patient to the next.
Who it Affects
Part of what makes psoriasis so difficult isn’t only the impact the disease has on your physical health, but rather the impact it has on sufferers’ overall quality of life. Because the disease causes such prominent skin dysfunctions, many patients suffer from social and interpersonal anxieties about their illness. The disease primarily affects people between the ages of 15 and 35. Like many other autoimmune diseases, psoriasis commonly surfaces in college-aged individuals. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, 40 percent of college students living with psoriasis actively avoid social situations. Psoriasis suffers often opt out of social things like student events, gym class, and dating. This disease can really damage the daily lives of younger sufferers. With so much of college life and the college experience relying on the things you do and places you go, a disease like this can inhibit a lot of personal growth and enjoyment the average individual gains in college. Because so few people know about the disease, younger sufferers encounter friends and acquaintances who think the condition is contagious and are worried to come in contact with the sufferer. This is one area where wider global recognition comes into play.
Fight for Global Recognition
By educating more individuals on the signs, symptoms, and treatments for psoriasis, we can help those suffering from the disease gain access to better care, help doctors create a community around the disease and its treatment, and help the general public more clearly understand the disease.
Aniya Wells is one of the most passionate writers you’ll ever meet. Though her writing interests run the gamut—from personal finance to health to current events and more—her primary interest is modern higher education. She serves as a reliable online degree guide for students considering taking advantage of the conveniences inherent in distance learning. Don’t hesitate to contact Aniya for questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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