Guest Blog: Psoriasis Isn't Contagious but Awareness Is

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Today's guest blog was submitted by National Psoriasis Foundation, the world's largest nonprofit organization serving the 7.5 million Americans with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Our mission is to find a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and to eliminate their devastating effects through research, advocacy and education. Learn more about the Psoriasis Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Ore., at www.psoriasis.org.

Each August, the National Psoriasis Foundation sponsors Psoriasis Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness about psoriasis, educating the public and dispelling myths about the disease.

Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the country, affecting approximately 7.5 million Americans. Yet, it is an often misunderstood disease. Learn more about psoriasis at www.psoriasis.org.

This year, we celebrated Psoriasis Awareness Month through a Life with Psoriasis Photo Contest. We asked participants--both people with psoriasis and those who love them--to submit photos showing life with psoriasis through their lens--with its challenges, breakthroughs, frustrations and achievements

While we wanted photos with good technical quality and composition, we also looked for photos that were emotional, interesting and had a touch of the unexpected.

More than 120 people from around the country submitted a photo for this year's contest. We were overwhelmed and amazed with their courage and triumphs with psoriasis. Their beautiful photos showed the world that people with psoriasis can do anything--hike the Grand Canyon; marry the love of their life, who sees their beauty with psoriasis; wear a bikini and shorts at the beach; compete in cycling races; flaunt their psoriasis in the pool; and participate in their favorite outdoor hobbies, like running and kayaking.

See these psoriasis success stories at www.psoriasisawarenessmonth.org.