National Psoriasis Foundation Releases Latest Research Discoveries for Psoriasis Awareness Month

The National Psoriasis Foundation released alarming statistics for Psoriasis awareness month, reporting 7.5 million are suffering from symptoms of psoriasis, with 33 percent reporting impacts in social interactions, and 59 percent saying psoriasis is a problem in their everyday life. As surprising as the large number of people negatively affected by the disease is, what may be more shocking is the unfortunate fact that over half are not satisfied with treatment.

Psoriasis can develop anywhere on the body, presenting in various types of skin lesions that often burn and itch. Research has yet to find a cause, or a cure, but the National Psoriasis Foundation continually pursues ongoing studies into the latest treatment options and remains hopeful that educating the community on the statistics, symptoms, and prevalence of psoriasis will prompt progression in research and education of effective treatment options.

Scientists hypothesize that a small percentage – 2 to 3 percent – develop psoriasis, yet at least 10 percent of people actually have genes that predispose them to the disease. When DNA contains a combination of these genes, skin eruptions typically develop in response to “triggers”, such as stress, skin injury, certain types of medication, and infection. Symptoms are individual, but lesions often appear on elbows, knees, and scalp.

The latest research statistics found that psoriasis is not gender biased, affecting men and women at the same rate, however, 2.5 percent of Caucasians have psoriasis, and only approximately 1.3 percent of African Americans suffer from the disease. Typically developing in ages ranging from 15 to 35 years, approximately 10 to 15 percent are affected at a younger age.

Breakthrough research, published at the National Library of Medicine, has linked psoriasis to systemic inflammation, stating, “Psoriasis is a systemic, immune-mediated disorder.” Progressive studies also found approximately 30 percent of psoriasis patients will also develop psoriatic arthritis – an inflammatory form of arthritis — and about 11 percent already have it. While the immune system is designed to protect the body from pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, scientists have found that in psoriasis, immune cells can “misfire”, leading to inflammation that promotes an abnormal accelerate growth of skin cells that form the lesions found in psoriasis.