La La Anthony, reality star, best-selling author (“The Love Playbook”) and actress (“Unforgettable” on A&E) has partnered with The National Psoriasis Foundation. She recently shared, for the first time, about her experience dealing with psoriasis – an autoimmune condition that appears as scales and flakes on the skin. It has impacted her self-esteem and self-confidence, kept her out of the spotlight on many occasions; and even forced her to cover up the unwanted signs of the disease. But what it never did was get in the way of her pursuing her goals and achieving her dreams. She has now teamed up with the National Psoriasis Foundation to launch the unbranded awareness campaign, Picture Positivity, where the she will share her tried and true tips to build confidence and help people achieve their personal goals and dreams. She will also encourage those suffering to join the Picture Positivity movement and help inspire the community by sharing pictures of what they have achieved – or what they will pursue – while living with psoriasis at www.PicturePositivity.com.
- What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a noncontagious, chronic autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 125 million people worldwide and 7.5 million Americans. Psoriasis generally appears as patches of raised, red skin covered by flaky, white buildup of dead skin cells. These patches, or plaques, most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso, though they can appear on any location. They are often itchy and painful, and they can crack and bleed. Psoriasis is associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.
- What causes Psoriasis?
The cause of psoriasis is unknown. Researchers believe that for a person to develop psoriasis, that person must have a combination of the genes that cause psoriasis and be exposed to specific external factors known as “triggers.” Most researchers agree that the immune system in people affected by psoriasis is somehow mistakenly triggered, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. Triggers may include emotional stress, injury to the skin, smoking, some types of infection or a reaction to treatment with certain drugs.
- How do you treat Psoriasis?
A wide range of treatments are available, but no single psoriasis treatment works for everyone. Treatments include topical creams or ointments, phototherapy (exposure to ultraviolet light) and oral or injected medications. Treatment is very personal so if you have psoriasis, it’s important to work closely with a doctor to determine the appropriate treatment plan for you.
- Best products?
There are a variety of treatment options available. Patients should work closely with their doctor to find the right treatment for them.
- How did you discover you had PsO?
About 10 years ago, when I was in my mid-twenties, I started to experience psoriasis symptoms. I noticed that there was something “not quite right” with the skin on my scalp, along my hairline, and behind my ears, which was scary for me as a young woman and, of course, for someone in the entertainment industry. I was concerned that others would think my symptoms were due to a contagious condition or poor hygiene. Even still, I never allowed it to hold me back, and I want to encourage others to do the same which is why I have partnered with the National Psoriasis Foundation on Picture Positivity.
- How have you treated your PsO?
Treatment is something that is very personal and individualized. It should be based off of conversations with your doctor to determine the best path for you. When I have a flare, I have a few tricks to help cover my skin such as changing my outfit, hairstyle or even my makeup to help make myself feel a little bit better about how I look.
Have you ever experienced psoriasis?
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– Allycia Wilson, Managing Editor
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