The Psoriasis Awareness ribbon is Orchid over Orange

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month. An estimated 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), making it the most common autoimmune disease in the United States. Despite its prevalence, many people are still unaware of its impact. Awareness offers the opportunity to educate the public and dispel myths associated with the disease.   Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It typically presents on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but can appear anywhere on the body. It often develops between ages 15 and 35, but can develop at any age. Psoriasis is not contagious; it is not something you can "catch" from others or transfer to someone else. Psoriasis lesions

are not infectious . Stigma often surrounds those with visible psoriasis due to others not understanding there is no risk of infection.   Psoriasis is often diagnosed by a dermatologist or other healthcare provider examining the affected skin. There are five types of psoriasis that each present differently. Plaque psoriasis is most common, presenting with raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells. They are often painful and itchy, and can crack and bleed. Guttate psoriasis appears as small, dot-like lesions and can be triggered by a strep infection. Inverse psoriasis appears with very red smooth, shiny lesions and may present with other types of psoriasis. Pustular psoriasis is characterized by white blisters surrounded by red skin most often on the hands…