Just as sure as the total eclipse cast a shadow across the United States this month, the truth about disease can sometimes be obscured. Because August is Psoriasis Awareness Month, all of us at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland want to cast the light of truth on this misunderstood disease that can affect the skin of your feet.
TRUTH: There is no cure for psoriasis. The red, scaly patches found on elbows, knees, tops of feet, bottoms of feet, and virtually any other area of the body – even your groin area – can only be controlled, using products that can be applied to the skin such as creams, ointments, or aloe vera gel.
TRUTH: Psoriasis isn’t contagious. We know that the red bumps and blisters of poison ivy contain oils that can be passed on to others through skin-to-skin contact or even towel-to-skin contact. Psoriasis is completely different because…
TRUTH: Psoriasis originates on the inside of the body. It’s an autoimmune condition in which the normal cycle of skin production and shedding is disrupted. The body makes too many skin cells in a short period of time and can’t shed them fast enough. Layers of skin build up from the inside and become thick and red.
TRUTH: Psoriasis comes and goes. Although the disease doesn’t ever completely go away, psoriasis isn’t always present. Skin patches flare up and then recede. Studies have shown that there are certain events that can trigger a flare-up, such as stress, infection, injury, and certain medications.
TRUTH: Psoriasis is common. It affects almost 7.5 million Americans and more than 100 million people worldwide.
TRUTH: There are several different types. The most common is plaque psoriasis, which causes the thick red patches described above. Other forms include psoriatic arthritis – affecting your joints; nail psoriasis – causing pitted and sensitive toenails or fingernails; and several other less common types.
TRUTH: Psoriasis is much more than a skin condition. There are other aspects of the disease that affect people psychologically and socially. Psoriasis sufferers are more prone to depression. Intimate relationships suffer and social encounters are avoided because of the stigma attached by people who wrongly fear that it’s “catching.”
For more truths about psoriasis or other skin conditions that can affect your feet and toes, don’t hesitate to ask the expert podiatrists of Cuyahoga County, Craig B. Frey, DPM and Megan L. Oltmann, DPM. Make an appointment online or call our office in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041.