What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis (suh-RI-uh-sus) is a disease which affects the skin and joints. It commonly causes red scaly patches to appear on the skin. The scaly patches caused by psoriasis, called psoriatic plaques, are areas of inflammation and excessive skin production. Skin rapidly accumulates at these sites and takes a silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area including the scalp and genitals. Psoriasis is hypothesized to be immune-mediated and is not contagious.
The symptoms of psoriasis can manifest in a variety of forms. Variants include plaque, pustular, guttate and flexural psoriasis.
Psoriasis affects both sexes equally and can occur at any age, although it most commonly appears for the first time between the ages of 15 and 25 years.
A diagnosis of psoriasis is usually based on the appearance of the skin. There are no special blood tests or diagnostic procedures for psoriasis. Sometimes a skin biopsy, or scraping, may be needed to rule out other disorders and to confirm the diagnosis.
The cause of psoriasis is not known, but it is believed to have a genetic component. Several factors are thought to aggravate psoriasis. These include stress, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking. Individuals with psoriasis may suffer from depression and loss of self-esteem.
Bath solutions and moisturizers help soothe affected skin and reduce the dryness which accompanies the build-up of skin on psoriatic plaques. Medicated creams and ointments applied directly to psoriatic plaques can help reduce inflammation, remove built-up scale, reduce skin turn over, and clear affected skin of plaques. Also daily, short, non-burning exposure to sunlight helped to clear or improve psoriasis.
|Famous People who have and had Psoriasis|
|Jason Donovan - Jason Sean Donovan (born 1 June 1968, Malvern, Melbourne) is an Australian actor and singer. In the UK, he has sold in excess of 3 million records, where his debut album Ten Good Reasons was the highest selling album of 1989 with sales of over 1.5 million copies. He has also had four UK no.1 singles, one of which was "Especially for You", his 1988 duet with Kylie Minogue. In more recent years, he has mainly worked as a leading man in stage musicals in the UK. He made his first television appearance at the age of eleven on the Australian series Skyways, playing a guest role. In the episode his onscreen sister was played by later co-star Kylie Minogue. He also featured in I Can Jump Puddles before reaching fame in Neighbours as the second incarnation (after Darius Perkins) of the character Scott Robinson. Jason Donovan suffers from the skin condition psoriasis.|
|Ben Elton - Benjamin Charles Elton (born 3 May 1959) is an English comedian, writer and director. He became a stand-up comedian and comedy writer shortly after leaving university in 1980, and was a central figure in the alternative comedy scene in the 1980s. More recently he has achieved success writing lyrics for and producing musicals, and as an author. Ben has psoriasis. He has always suffered from the skin disease psoriasis, and he rolls up his trouser leg to show an angry rash. 'I've got it all over. Doctors say I am a bad case, and other people tell me that I've got to stop working.'"|
|Art Garfunkel - Arthur Ira Garfunkel was born November 5, 1941 in Forest Hills, Queens, in New York City. American singer-songwriter and actor, best known as half of the Grammy Award winning folk duo Simon and Garfunkel. He met his future singing partner, Paul Simon, in the sixth grade. Between 1956 and 1962, the two had performed together as Tom & Jerry. Garfunkel ("Tom Graph") chose his nickname because he liked to track, or "graph" hits, on the pop charts. Garfunkel attended Columbia University in the early sixties, where he sang with the Kingsmen, an all-male a cappella group and was a Brother in the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. "I have psoriasis," he explains, "and I've been told that if you float in that salty, buoyant water, it's very good for the skin."|
|Robert Bruce - Robert I, King of Scots (11 July 1274 - 7 June 1329) usually known in modern English as Robert the Bruce (Mediaeval Gaelic:Roibert a Briuis; modern Scottish Gaelic: Raibeart Bruis; Norman French: Robert de Brus or Robert de Bruys; ) was King of the Scots from 1306 until his death. He died on 7 June 1329, at the Manor of Cardross, near Dumbarton. He had suffered for some years from what some contemporary accounts describe as an "unclean ailment"; the traditional view is that he died of leprosy, but this has is now disupted with syphilis, psoriasis, motor neurone disease and a series of strokes all proposed as possible alternatives.|
|Paul John Ferris - (born 10 November 1963 in Blackhill, Glasgow is a Scottish businessman, author and former gangster. His books The Ferris Conspiracy, Deadly Divisions, Vendetta and Villains led to controversy over the possibility of criminals profiting from their crimes. As a child, Ferris was bullied for several years by members of a local criminal family, the Welshes, which is thought to have resulted in him developing the skin disorder psoriasis. Ferris began his life of crime as a teenager with a series of revenge knife attacks on the Welsh brothers, and was arrested aged 17 for assault and robbery and sent to Longriggend Remand Centre.|
|Mark Gastineau - Marcus Dell Gastineau (born November 20, 1956) is a former American football player who was a leading defensive end for the New York Jets from 1979 to 1988. A five-time Pro Bowler, his 100.5 quarterback sacks in only his first hundred starts in the NFL made him one of the quickest and most-feared pass-rushers of his generation. In 1984 Gastineau set the record for most sacks in a single season which stood for seventeen years until Michael Strahan broke it in 2001. His deep, George Hamilton tan, he insisted, was not a matter of vanity. It was, he said, the only way to keep his congenital psoriasis under control.|
|CariDee English - (born May 22, 1985 in Fargo, North Dakota) is an American fashion model of Norwegian ancestry. In December 2006 she won Cycle 7 of America's Next Top Model. Her prize was a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl Cosmetics, a modeling contract with Elite Models, and a six-page fashion editorial and cover for Seventeen magazine. She has suffered from psoriasis for 15 years and believed her dream of becoming a model was unattainable. However, a doctor recommended Raptiva, a drug that CariDee injects weekly in order to help control the skin disease. Although it is effective, it can not cure the disease. CariDee recently signed on as spokesperson for the National Psoriasis Foundation to spread awareness about psoriasis and encourage others to seek treatment. As a youngster, CariDee says she felt "cursed" with psoriasis. She experienced taunts and embarrassment. Today, her "curse" is her cause. "Psoriasis awareness is very important to me. I want others with the disease to know they are not alone. I want to inspire them to live their dreams," she said.|
|Tom Waits - Thomas Alan Waits (born December 7, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described by one critic as sounding "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months and then taken outside and run over with a car." Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. Waits has also worked as a composer for movies and musical plays and as a supporting actor in films, including The Fisher King, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Short Cuts. He has been nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.|
|William Halsey, Jr. - Fleet Admiral William Frederick Halsey, Jr., GBE, USN, (October 30, 1882 - August 16, 1959) (commonly known as "Bull" Halsey, but not to his face), was a U.S. Naval officer and the commander of the United States Third Fleet during much of the Pacific War against Japan. Beached by a very severe attack of psoriasis just before the Battle of Midway, he lent his chief of staff, Captain Miles Browning, to his hand-picked successor, Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance, who, under the overall command of Vice Admiral Fletcher, and despite difficulties from Browning, led the American carrier forces to a victory against the Japanese Combined Fleet.|
|Shawn Lane - (March 21, 1963 - September 26, 2003) was an American musician. He quickly became a noted player in underground guitar circles and joined Black Oak Arkansas when he was just fourteen years old. He is best known for his solo album Powers of Ten and his long stint with former John McLaughlin bassist Jonas Hellborg. his whole life and also suffered from psoriatic arthritis from the age of about 13. This did not impair his playing but caused difficulty walking, and required treatment with steroids which seriously affected Shawn's weight so much that he weighed over 300 pounds in the years before his death (though Shawn was slim in his youth). He also smoked constantly. On September 26, 2003 Shawn died in a hospital in Memphis, shortly after being told that he would have to remain on medical oxygen the rest of his life.|
|Jerry Mathers - (born June 2, 1948 in Sioux City, Iowa) is an American television, film and stage actor. Mathers is best known for his role in the television sitcom series Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963), in which he played Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver, the younger son of archetypal suburban couple June and Ward Cleaver (Barbara Billingsley and Hugh Beaumont), and the brother of Wally Cleaver (Tony Dow). Mathers faced something far more irritating than the Beaver's older brother Wally. Mathers discovered he had psoriasis. "Psoriasis seems funny to people who don't have it," says Mathers. "But for those who do, it's not exactly a laughing matter." Mathers is the spokesperson for the National Psoriasis Foundation's Step Into My Skin awareness campaign.|
|Dennis Potter - Dennis Christopher George Potter (17 May 1935-7 June 1994) was a controversial English dramatist, best known for The Singing Detective. His widely acclaimed television dramas mixed fantasy and reality, the personal and the social. He was particularly fond of using themes and images from popular culture. During the early 1960s, Potter began to suffer from an acute form of psoriasis known as psoriatic arthropathy, a rare hereditary condition that affected his skin and caused arthritis in his joints. For the rest of his life, Potter was frequently in hospitals, sometimes completely unable to move and in great pain. The disease eventually ruined his hands, reducing them to what he called "clubs". He had to learn to write by strapping a pen to his hand.|
|Joseph Stalin - December 18, 1878 - March 5, 1953) was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953. During that time he established the regime now known as Stalinism. As one of several Central Committee Secretariats, Stalin's formal position was originally limited in scope, but he gradually consolidated power and became the de facto party leader and ruler of the Soviet Union.|
|Kenneth Starr - Kenneth Winston Starr (born July 21, 1946) is an American lawyer and former judge who was appointed to the Office of the Independent Counsel to investigate the suicide death of the deputy White House counsel Vince Foster and the Whitewater land transactions by President Bill Clinton. He later submitted to Congress the Starr Report, which led to Clinton's impeachment on charges arising from the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He currently serves as dean of Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California. Starr did not go to Vietnam, classified 4-F, due to a case of psoriasis.|
|John Updike - John Hoyer Updike (born March 18, 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania) is an American novelist, poet, short story writer and literary critic. Updike's most famous work is his Rabbit series (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit At Rest; and Rabbit Remembered). Both Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest received the Pulitzer Prize. As a teenager, Updike was encouraged by his mother, who was also a writer, to write while attending Shillington High School. Updike and his mother had the skin disease psoriasis. Updike grew up in a relatively poor family. Lack of money did not stop him from entering Harvard University on a full scholarship. He served as president of the Harvard Lampoon, before graduating summa cum laude (he wrote a thesis on Robert Herrick) in 1954 with a degree in English.|
|Tom Robbins - Thomas Eugene Robbins (born July 22, 1936 in Blowing Rock, North Carolina) is an American author. His novels are complex, often wild stories with strong social undercurrents, a satirical bent, and obscure details. His novel Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976) was made into a movie in 1993 directed by Gus Van Sant. In 1954, Robbins studied journalism at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia but left after he was ousted from his fraternity for discipline problems. He spent the following year hitchhiking, finally settling in New York as a poet.|
|Eli Roth - (born April 18, 1972) is an American film director, producer, writer and actor. He established himself as a brand name director after his first film Cabin Fever, with name-above-the-title billing on his two subsequent films. Roth has done so without the support of mainstream press, and mainly uses the internet to promote his films and connect with his fans. "When I was 22, I woke up one morning in New York City and I peeled down my sheets and my legs were hurting so bad. They were all completely ripped apart and cracked and rotted. It was so painful. I went to the doctor and they said it was psoriasis. They're like, "It's genetic. It's not contagious. You have it. It's been in your system and it's now decided to attack." I just have these feelings like you can be healthy one day and then literally falling apart the next. He based many of the events in "Cabin Fever" on his own skin-curdling experiences.|
|Karin Holstein - Karin C. Holstein. As an international fashion model, Karin Holstein had one of the most visible jobs possible. She made her living on her appearance and people judged her appearance every day. Her face was well known, but Karin herself was not. Karin gave a moving talk about what it was like to be a child with psoriasis. It was particularly tough during the teen years. Dating was the hardest. She learned, though, to build a self-concept that wasn't based just on her appearance.|
|Janis Byron - (born March 24, 1928) is an American pianist. He made several recordings for RCA Victor and Mercury Records, and occupies two volumes of the Philips Great Pianists series. His discography covers repertoire from Beethoven to David Guion and includes renditions of major piano concertos from Mozart to Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev. His pianism has been described as combining a Horowitzian technique with a sublime musicality akin to Alfred Cortot's. He has a special affinity for Chopin and made a French film on him that was shown around the world. Psoriatic arthritis changed Byron Janis's life. In addition to the pain and the skin involvement that comes with this type of arthritis, joint deterioration meant Janis had to have surgery that shortened his thumb on his left hand, leaving him unable to reach the next octave on the piano easily.|
|Gordon Lish - Gordon Jay Lish (born February 11, 1934 in Hewlett, New York) is an American writer. As a literary editor, he championed many American authors, particularly Raymond Carver, Barry Hannah, Amy Hempel,and Richard Ford. His family moved to Burlingame, California, where they founded the avant-garde literary magazine Genesis West, which ran between 1961 and 1965. Genesis West was published in seven volumes by The Chrysalis West Foundation. While working on Genesis West, their house and magazine became a focus point, and celebrated and introduced such authors and poets as Neal Cassady, Ken Kesey, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Gilbert, and Herbert Gold. When Lish is excited, his psoriasis acts up.|
|Jean-Paul Marat - May 24, 1743 - July 13, 1793), was a Swiss-born French physician, philosopher, political theorist and scientist best known as a radical journalist and politician from the French Revolution. His journalism was renowned for its fiery character and uncompromising stance towards the new government, "enemies of the revolution" and basic reforms for the poorest members of society. Marat suffered from the skin disease psoriasis.|
|Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov - (1899-1977) Vladimir Nabokov concealed his psoriasis. In February 1937 Nabokov suffered a bad attack. He wrote to his wife, Vera: "I continue with the radiation treatments every day and am pretty much cured. You know-now I can tell you frankly-the indescribable torments I endured in February, before these treatments, drove me to the border of suicide a border I was not authorised to cross because I had you in my luggage."|
|Connie Palmen - Dutch author, who was born on November 25, 1955 in Sint Odilienberg as Aldegonda Petronella Huberta Maria Palmen. Among her novels are the 1991 novel De wetten (published in the USA in 1993 as The Laws), translated by Richard Huijing. This novel was shortlisted for the 1996 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Another of her novels is De vriendschap (published in the USA as The Friendship in 2000), translated by Ina Rilke. Palmen had a long relationship with the late Ischa Meijer.|
|Kim Kardashian - (born Kimberly Noel Kardashian in Los Angeles, California on October 21, 1980) - is an American television personality and socialite. The daughter of famed attorney Robert Kardashian and Kris Jenner, she first became a tabloid fixture as the best friend of fellow socialite Paris Hilton. Kim Kardashian was diagnosed with psoriasis on an episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" in 2011 because of complaints of red, flaky patches of skin. Kim posted before and after pictures of her legs on her website, telling fans she uses a bronzing make-up spray to keep the psoriasis patches at bay.|
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NOTE: Disabled World has assembled this list from both online and offline resources. If you know of a discrepancy in this article please contact us so we can amend the entry.