August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, and the National Psoriasis Foundation is pulling out all the stops to inform people about this chronic disease and let them know that, while psoriasis isn’t contagious, awareness is. The foundation has created a series of weekly “challenges” to get this message across and arm patients with information that can help them.
One of these challenges, called “Get Informed,” involved a simple quiz for psoriasis patients that tested their knowledge on the benefits available to them and provided information about support services such as prescription drug discount programs that exist for people with psoriasis.
Another was “Get Healthy.” For this, patients posted photos or videos of something that motivates them to stay “whole body healthy” while living with psoriasis. The idea was to show that having psoriasis is just one component of a person’s health and life.
And this past week’s theme was “Get Involved.” Those participating were asked to take a selfie with a “Psoriasis Psuperhero” sign – an example of just one of the ways patients and advocates can get involved in representing the interests of the psoriasis community. The National Psoriasis Foundation also offers opportunities to help through its Community Ambassador program along with educational events and fundraisers.
This week’s challenge is to “Get Connected.” It serves to show patients how they can connect with other people with their same condition. These include NPF’s Psoriasis One on One program, which offers mentorship services to patients, as well as the Talk Psoriasis network, where more than 82,000 online users go to discuss the ins and outs of their disease. Specifically, the foundation asks people to participate in Citizen Pscientist, posting a question on social media that they would like to ask world-renowned disease scientist Dr. Wilson Liao.
About 7.5 million Americans of all ages have psoriasis. Its effects can range from mild to severe and, at its worst, the disease can be very debilitating. Yet for whatever reason, the effects of psoriasis are often ignored in favor other chronic illnesses. Psoriasis Awareness Month can help to change that and bring more attention to this serious disease.