World Psoriasis Day: It's A Pso World After All
World Psoriasis Day has been celebrated on October 29 for more than a decade. Conceived by patients for patients, this global event sets out to give an international voice to people living with psoriatic disease around the world.
The global impact of psoriasis
Although it is difficult to estimate exactly how many people are living with psoriasis, it is thought that the disease affects at least 125 million people around the world. This means that about 2 percent to 3 percent of the global population have some form of psoriasis.1,2
We'd like to highlight our advocates from across the globe and share their thoughts on how psoriasis impacts their world.
🇿🇦 Greetings from Clair in South Africa!
Not a day goes past that psoriasis is not a part of my world in one way or another. It has brought me many life lessons and humbled me more times than I could count. It has brought me to my knees and shown me who I am, psoriasis has brought me friends that have become family. It has taught me to love myself the way I am, spots, and all. Also that the people who really want to be a part of your life, will always be, no matter what your skin looks like.
I find I have a new sense of purpose working with people who are going through the same things. Psoriasis is a large part of who I am, yet it does not define me. Psoriasis is a teacher and some days even a friend.
🇬🇧 Greetings from Gemma in The United Kingdom!
Psoriasis affects my entire world. It affects what I wear and when I wash my hair. Psoriasis dictates what laundry detergent I use and what foods I eat. My psoriasis doesn’t like wine- but I do! It affects my emotions, and sometimes it affects how I talk to myself. I find it harder to be kind to myself when my skin itches and burns. But psoriasis also made me.
I’ve had psoriasis all of my life, and I know I’m a better person because of it. I don’t judge people hastily based on what I see. As my hair starts to grey and my skin starts to soften I feel as attractive as I did before the years painted their picture on my face because I built who I am on more than how I look. And I know the importance of listening. A rare but valuable skill in our busy 21st Century lives.
🇵🇭 Greetings from Annelyse in the Philippines
My world used to revolve around my illness. I grieved for the life that I used to have back when I didn’t have to deal with any of these horrible symptoms. I refused to look forward to the future because I didn’t think I’d have a good one, too. I realized eventually that my world shouldn’t be restricted just because I was chronically ill. And indeed, my world started to widen slowly when I found out about the psoriatic disease community.
I represent a Filipino psoriasis warrior who is a fighter. One who will not be known as the “person who had strange wounds and patches”, but as someone who did have one, but who always showed up anyway. Because that’s what Filipinos are known for— their bravery, strength, and resilience. Even if my patches can mimic the shapes of countries and continents, I can proudly say that psoriasis is not my entire world, not anymore. It is a fraction of my life that will never define me because I won’t let it, not anymore.
🇨🇦 Greetings from Vicki in Ontario, Canada!
Psoriasis impacts my world in a lot of ways. It impacts the clothes I wear long-sleeved, light-weight, 100% cotton, and never black!, the food I eat (no gluten, dairy, or nightshades), and the things I buy humidifiers, specialty moisturizers, hypoallergenic soap, detergent, and cleaning products.
Psoriasis also impacts my daily routines. I shower differently, moisturize differently, clean differently, and even exercise differently.
Psoriasis has brought me joy too! I have many friends I never would have met if not for psoriasis, and communities I would not have joined. I started meditating daily, eating anti-inflammatory foods, spending more time outside in the summer, and journaling because of psoriasis. And every day it makes me more compassionate, empathetic, and appreciative.
🇺🇸 Greetings Tikeyah in Atlanta, GA, USA
In my world, psoriasis means more awareness. Psoriasis brings more awareness to the products I use on my skin and hair, the foods I eat, the clothes I wear, and even the places I go to. Psoriasis really just makes me more aware and makes me think more about all of these things. At the beginning of my journey, psoriasis had more control over me but now it feels good to simply look at it as something that makes me pay more attention.
For example, When I go into the store to find a new body lotion or cream I pay more attention to the label and the ingredients. I’m more aware of what ingredients cause me to flare and because of that awareness, I know what products to use and which products to steer away from. All in all, I’ve learned a lot about myself through psoriasis and a lot about my skin. In my world, psoriasis has brought many tears but also many smiles! I hope my journey can inspire other people!
What does psoriasis mean to your world?
While everyone has their own set of challenges of what living with psoriasis is like for them, it’s reassuring to know that you’re not alone. We asked our community what psoriasis meant to their world and here are a few of their responses:
"I have it on my scalp. Can't wear black as it flakes on my shoulders. Have it in my ears, they peel and itch a lot. Vaseline helps the ears."
"I don’t want anyone close to me because of it. So yeah I’d say it has affected my world."
"I've lost a few possible relationships as soon as I mention it. In hindsight, they were shallow any way. However, I've learned that no matter how attractive I find someone I have to walk it back."
One way to observe World Psoriasis Day is to tell your story. Human stories are often the best way to spread awareness and help the public understand more about medical conditions.
Now we want to know, how does psoriasis impact your world?
Where on your body does psoriasis bother you the most?