QUÉBEC, Oct. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - World Psoriasis Day will be held on Thursday October 29. In order to raise public awareness about this serious disease, Paul-François Bourgault, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance Québécoise du Psoriasis, will use this occasion to demystify the biased assumptions and perceptions surrounding this skin disease that affects nearly 200,000 Quebecers.
THE TRUTH ABOUT PSORIASIS...
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease. The cutaneous cells of the affected areas regenerate every three to six days, instead of every 28 days. This rapid reproduction causes red patches. Although it cannot be completely cured, there are several treatments that improve the quality of life for those who live with the disease. According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, nearly one million Canadians suffer from psoriasis. The exact cause of the disease is not known but research has shown that it is caused by a problem with the autoimmune system. Researchers suspect that psoriasis is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors: an inherited tendency to auto-immune diseases, a triggering factor like an infection, certain medications, a lesion or stress.
WHAT PSORIASIS IS NOT...
Contrary to popular belief, psoriasis is not contagious; it is not caused by a microbe or a virus. Therefore, you cannot "catch it" or "give it" to someone. Moreover, psoriasis is much more than a simple skin disease. According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, psoriasis takes such a physical and emotional toll on persons who are afflicted with the disease that it can be just as debilitating as other serious diseases like cancer or diabetes. Finally, psoriasis never really goes away. It is a serious disease that evolves by outbreaks and sometimes goes into remission for long periods of time. A cure, however, has yet to be found.
PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES
The physical and psychological effects of psoriasis are often painful and greatly affect the quality of life of those who are afflicted and their loved ones. Many people with psoriasis suffer from low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and a general feeling of helplessness. Many even completely withdraw from their social environment. Statistics show that suicide rates are three times higher in people with psoriasis.
THE ALLIANCE QUÉBÉCOISE DU PSORIASIS, A REAL NEED
The Alliance Québécoise du Psoriasis was created at the request of many psoriasis sufferers who wanted a place where they would receive help and have access to resources that would provide information on their disease and act as an advocate to help patients gain access to available treatments and specialists.
The Alliance deals with three separate areas: patient support, public awareness and mobilisation to defend patient's rights. Through the support of many volunteers, the Alliance Québécoise du Psoriasis is truly a beacon of hope for the more than 200,000 Québecois who suffer from this disease. "It is our hope that this day will be an occasion to raise awareness regarding this disease and that it will help those who suffer from it to receive the support that they deserve, especially access to dermatologists and to the medication to which they are entitled", says Paul-François Bourgault.
SOURCE ALLIANCE QUEBECOISE DU PSORIASIS
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