One million Canadians are affected by psoriasis. One million. It can happen to anyone and the underlying cause is often unknown. But it’s not contagious; it’s not caused by a lack of hygiene and it’s certainly not some kind of strange growth, infection or malady.
Now can we please end the stigma?
Psoriasis, although somewhat of a commonly misunderstood skin condition, is actually pretty simple to explain. It happens when faulty signals in the body’s immune system trigger new skin cells to form in three to four days instead of 30 days. Because the skin cells grow too quickly, they are not shed normally and pile up on the skin’s surface, creating sores or lesions, often called plaques. Thick, silvery scales form atop these itchy plaques and sometimes cause painful red patches.
It’s not always pretty to look at, but you know what’s worse? Living with the punishing and unfair effects of social stigma, such as being misjudged as unclean or incapable of being touched without passing on a condition that is out of your control.
It’s just excess skin, people.
Because psoriasis is a visible skin condition, it can affect people’s feelings, behaviour and experiences. Does it surprise you to learn that psoriasis is associated with a lack of self-esteem, sexual dysfunction, anxiety and depression? We can change this, and it starts with you and me.
October 29, 2017 is World Psoriasis Day. It’s the perfect reason to educate ourselves about the condition and share ways that people with psoriasis can increase their self-esteem and regain a sense of control over the condition. …