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August is Psoriasis Awareness Month

2008-08-04 18:20:00

August is Psoriasis Awareness Month

    Pools are for recreation, not discrimination

    PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 4 /EMWNews/ -- This summer, kids are

getting kicked out of swimming pools all over the U.S., not because of

their behavior, but because of how their skin looks.

    Psoriasis is a noncontagious, chronic disease of the immune system that

appears on the skin, causing red, scaly patches. Many of the estimated 7.5

million Americans who have psoriasis face discrimination in public places

such as hair salons, gyms and swimming pools because others believe the

disease is contagious. And many avoid public situations altogether.

    "Last summer, my daughter endured many stares and rude remarks at the

public pool. Her psoriasis was particularly bad and she had many spots that

her swimsuit didn't cover," said Paula Blount, a Psoriasis Foundation

volunteer whose 6-year-old daughter Hannah has psoriasis. "I bought a pool

for our backyard so she could swim at home without being hassled and


    Each August, the National Psoriasis Foundation sponsors Psoriasis

Awareness Month, to raise awareness about the disease. In recent surveys,

the Psoriasis Foundation discovered that one in five people with psoriasis

reported being denied service at the pool in the previous 12 months.

    "Unfortunately, many people assume psoriasis is contagious because of

the way it looks, and because of that, people living with the disease face

discrimination. We've heard from countless adults with psoriasis who, as

children, were consistently excluded from pool parties because parents were

afraid," said Randy Beranek, president and CEO of the National Psoriasis

Foundation. "And it's still happening today."

    To address this, Psoriasis Awareness Month this year focuses on

dispelling the myth that psoriasis is contagious.

    "Through our 'Pools are for Recreation, not Discrimination' campaign

this year, we're encouraging individuals and organizations to educate their

communities that psoriasis is not contagious," Beranek said. "And we're

urging those who have faced discrimination because of their psoriasis to

speak up about the disease to end the fear and open the pool."

    Psoriasis Awareness Month packets, including a fact sheet, posters,

post cards and tips, are available. To request a packet or for more

information, visit or call 800.723.9166.

    About Psoriasis Awareness Month

    The Psoriasis Foundation works year-round to improve the lives of

people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis Awareness Month is

a special opportunity to educate the public about these diseases. Sponsored

by the National Psoriasis Foundation every August, Psoriasis Awareness

Month is dedicated to raising awareness, educating the public and

dispelling myths about psoriasis. To learn more about this year's Psoriasis

Awareness Month, visit

    About the National Psoriasis Foundation

    The National Psoriasis Foundation is the leading patient-driven,

nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for

millions of Americans with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis and their

families. We focus on education, advocacy and research toward better

treatments and a cure. For more information, please call the Psoriasis

Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Ore., at 800.723.9166, or visit

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Blake Masterson

Freelance Writer, Journalist and Father of 5

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