World Psoriasis Day: Make This Day Count

Last updated: October 2019

World Psoriasis Day. It’s been occurring annually on October 29 for more than a decade to raise awareness for a disease affecting 125 million people worldwide. It’s just one day out of 365, so we need the world to stand up and take notice before another year passes by.

A collective voice

According to the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA), people with psoriasis have a higher risk of developing these other serious conditions, all of which can shorten the lifespan of people with psoriasis:

The IFPA and its member organizations in 56 countries are standing together to “Treat Psoriasis Seriously,” this year’s World Psoriasis Day theme. Because psoriasis is serious. Because psoriasis is not just a skin disease. Because our lives depend on it. Because there is no cure.

It starts with you

You can’t treat psoriasis seriously unless you take psoriasis seriously, and that starts with you and making sure you get the proper treatment you need to manage your own disease in the best way possible.

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is encouraging patients to take its quick assessment quiz to find out how psoriasis impacts their health. With the results, patients can talk to their doctors about treatment plans and options to manage their disease better.

Patients can also talk to one of NPF’s patient navigators for help with talking to their doctors, getting access to treatments, and cutting through insurance red tape. The Patient Navigation Center is a free service and staff has helped patients from many countries all over the world.

Next steps

Yes, psoriasis is a serious disease. Yes, it affects 125 million people. But what can one person do to make a difference in how the world views psoriasis? Plenty!

  • Be an advocate: Reach out to your elected representative and tell policymakers how the disease affects you personally. Sharing your story can influence policymakers who ultimately decide how much research funding psoriasis will receive and how legislation can improve access to treatments and health care providers. NPF's advocacy webpage can help you reach your legislators in America.
  • Spread awareness in your school district:  One way is to give a school presentation about what psoriasis is and how it affects patients. I believe education is the key to compassion and understanding. Recently, two volunteers and I gave a presentation to three high school biology classes in Detroit. It was the perfect opportunity to explain what the disease is, how it affects patients, and that it is not contagious. By the end of the presentation, students and teachers were asking how they could get involved to help others with psoriasis in their community. Check out NPF’s Our Spot's school section to request fact sheets and a PowerPoint presentation to share in your school or at school board meeting to encourage understanding and compassion for students with psoriasis.
  • Take part in research: Sign up to be part of NPF’s Citizen Pscientist, a global online research network for people with psoriatic disease. All you have to do is answer some questions prepared by researchers and then you get to play around with all of the data. By working together, Citizen Pscientists can give researchers new leads.

Just one day to make a difference?

World Psoriasis Day may only be 24 hours long, but spreading awareness doesn’t have to be. Start today, but keep the momentum going. Don’t let another 364 days go by without taking psoriasis seriously.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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