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Photos: 'Project Runway's' Tim Gunn Launches Addressing Psoriasis(TM) Campaign to Advocate That Patients Shouldn't Let Psoriasis Impact Personal Style
Date:3/4/2009

someone doesn't feel confident, it is reflected in the clothing choices he or she makes," said Gunn. "Psoriasis is a chronic condition, but it doesn't have to define who you are or how you present yourself to the world. If you have psoriasis, it is important to educate yourself about how you can take an active role in your condition-and your style."

Psoriasis, which affects nearly 7 million Americans, is a chronic disease of the immune system that causes the skin cells to grow at an accelerated rate. Although there are several types of psoriasis, approximately 80 percent of patients suffer from plaque psoriasis, which causes painful and itchy red, scaly patches.

According to a 2007 National Psoriasis Foundation survey, 40 percent of patients reported choosing their clothing to conceal their psoriasis. The Foundation's 2008 survey also found:

  • 63 percent of respondents expressed significant feelings of self-consciousness

  • 57 percent indicated that their psoriasis impacts their self-esteem

  • 62 percent of respondents reported significant itching

  • 49 percent reported significant pain

Each survey had approximately 400 respondents, two-thirds of which reported being diagnosed with moderate to severe psoriasis.

Dr. Taylor, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, adds, "I've seen many psoriasis patients limit their clothing selections in order to cover their disease. I urge people with psoriasis to visit a dermatologist to learn more about their disease and find a treatment regimen that may work for them."

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