August is Psoriasis Action Month. Throughout the month, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is sharing resources for treating and managing psoriatic disease to empower patients to take control of their health. Formerly called Psoriasis Awareness Month, this year’s name change is more than symbolic. Mike Siegel, PhD, vice president of research for the NPF, sees the change as a chance to urge rheumatologists, dermatologists and other physicians to aggressively treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
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“People really aren’t aware [of the disease]—even if their friends or loved ones live with psoriatic disease. So making people aware is one thing,” Dr. Siegel says. “The next level is to help people take action around their disease. So get involved. Take control of your situation. Be confident in [speaking] to your healthcare provider, and get the level of treatment you want and you’re comfortable with.”
Given the statistics, action is necessary. Some 7.5 million people have psoriasis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.1 And about 15% of people with psoriasis—more than 1 million people—develop psoriatic arthritis, according to the American College of Rheumatology.2