August is Psoriasis Awareness Month
Pools are for recreation, not discrimination PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 4 /EMWPresswire/ -- 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 embarrassed." 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 http://www.freetogetinthepool.org 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 http://www.freetogetinthepool.org. 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 http://www.psoriasis.org.
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