Why World Psoriasis Day is Important

I am excited! World Psoriasis Day, October 29th, is right around the corner. This day is important for so many reasons, so I encourage everyone to take a moment and make a plan to do something (big or small—it’s all important) to raise awareness and make this day one to remember.

So why is this important?

You may be like me and feel that there is a day for everything. Did you know that there is a Houseplant Appreciation Day? (It is on January 10th in case I misjudged and you actually found that tidbit of information really cool.) So some people may not realize the importance of World Psoriasis Day when there is so many other important dates vying for our attention.

Knowledge is power

But this day is different. First and foremost, it is a full 24 hours for the psoriasis community to focus on raising awareness about our disease. This is important for a myriad of reasons. For one—there is a lot of misconceptions about the disease. Many people still think it is just a “skin” disease and do not realize it is a very serious, chronic, disease. This is true for those outside the community, as well as those within the community. I spent most of my life with psoriasis, seeing specialist after specialist, and never knew about comorbidities or the immune aspect of the disease until other terrible diseases are old. When you have an increased risk for heart disease and other terrible disease, you kind of would like to know about it, right?

There is a lot of research that still needs to be done

This day also helps us collectively raise the issue of the need for more research. In other diseases, such as diabetes, there is a fairly common protocol that is followed. Most people will receive recommendations to eat a low glycemic diet and/or monitor blood sugar daily. Some even require insulin or metformin. In psoriasis, the treatment that works widely varies from person to person, and we don’t quite know why.

Research not only gets us closer to an answer for questions like the one above, but it also helps to identify more treatments for those that have failed every prescription or natural remedy available. It is hard enough having a disease with no cure, but it is even harder when you have no way to manage your symptoms.

Psoriasis is lonely

This disease is also one of the most isolating conditions. It is easier to stay home alone than risk being treated like the kid at school who gets sent home for lice. We all hide our symptoms, and by doing so, we are hiding from each other too. We don’t see others with visible plaques, so we feel like there is no one we can relate to. No one that knows the misery we are dealing with.

That is why World Psoriasis Day is such an important day. It is day to rejuvenate each other and the rest of the world to fight! I urge you to take a moment, wherever you are, and come up with one way you can help on October 29th. It can be sharing your story on social media, writing your legislators, wearing a purple and orange ribbon, etc. There is no act too big or too small.

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