Psoriasis is a non-contagious, life-long skin disease that affects approximately 4.5 million Americans. The month of August is dedicated to raising awareness about the disease. Psoriasis Awareness Month educates the public about what psoriasis is, how to diagnose it, and how to live with the skin.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that is caused by a disease in the immune system. Defective signals in the immune system cause skin cells to grow at a rapid pace of three to four days instead of the average 30-day cycle. As a result, extra skin cells build up on the skin’s surface to form “plaques.” Plaques are red, flaky, and scaly patches that are often itchy and uncomfortable.
Generally appearing on joints, limbs, and the scalp, psoriasis not only affects people physically, but also mentally as people get low self-esteem and depression. Although people will have to live with psoriasis for the rest of their lives, there are ways to control the disease and live a better life, officials said.
Depending on how severe a person’s condition is and other variables about that person, physicians can prescribe a number of treatments to ease skin irritation. If the psoriasis is mild to moderate, topical treatments such as ointments, gels or lotions will be given. If the condition is moderate to severe, a physician may administer ultraviolet (UVB) light treatment to combat the skin disease. If neither works, “systematic” medications will be given to combat the disease throughout the body instead of just on the skin.
For more information about psoriasis call (706) 858-CALL to find a local physician to assist with skin care needs.
September is Cholesterol Awareness month and Hutcheson Medical Center has released information about the health risks:
High cholesterol is one of the hardest risk factors to detect with the naked eye, yet the results of it can be deadly. Sometimes, the first sign of high cholesterol is a heart attack or stroke. Because of these deadly risk factors, the detection, treatment, and prevention of high cholesterol are vitally important.
The first step to detecting high cholesterol is to get a fasting lipoprotein profile to find out what your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride numbers are. Then, discuss your risk for heart disease with your physician or other health care provider and take steps to reduce the factors that put you at risk.
An important prevention technique for high cholesterol is exercise, even if it is only a brisk walk 15 minutes a day. Any kind of exercise not only helps reduce the “bad” cholesterol, but it also helps raise the “good” cholesterol.
Following a low saturated fat, low-cholesterol diet and not smoking are other prevention techniques that lower cholesterol.
Medicines that help lower cholesterol are statins, bile acid sequestrants, nicotinic acid, and fibrates. For more information on any of these medications or other steps to prevent high cholesterol, talk to your doctor. For a referral to a qualified physician in our community, call 706-858-CALL.