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Psoriasis Unveiled: Beyond the Skin, Especially in the Black Community

Psoriasis is the unsung supervillain of skin conditions, and it affects more folks than you might think. With over 125 million individuals worldwide dealing with its quirks, it’s time to unravel the story behind those red, scaly patches and their unique impact on communities, particularly the Black community.

 

It’s More Common Than You’d Imagine

Imagine a global party with over 125 million attendees – that’s how many people worldwide live with psoriasis. Within this vast number, the impact on specific communities, like the Black community, is significant. Yes, you read that right. It’s not a rare condition that only a few encounter; it’s a part of many lives.

The Immune System’s Dance Party

Psoriasis is like your immune system throwing a dance party with your skin cells. But within the Black community, there’s a unique twist; studies suggest that psoriasis might affect Black individuals differently due to genetic factors. It’s an autoimmune condition where your immune system gets a little too excited and causes your skin cells to go wild, leading to those red, scaly patches.

Age Is Just a Number

Psoriasis isn’t bound by age limits, and this includes the Black community. While it often decides to show up during your teenage years or your early thirties, it’s got a “surprise appearance” mode that can trigger at any age. It’s an equal-opportunity condition, affecting people from all walks of life.

Different Shades of Psoriasis – Why Mine May Not Look Like Yours

Think of psoriasis as a master of disguise. It has several types, each with its unique twist. From the classic “plaque” to the quirky “guttate,” it’s like a chameleon changing colors but always managing to stand out. This holds true for all individuals, irrespective of their background.

Emotions in the Mix

Dealing with psoriasis can affect your confidence, self-esteem, and mental health. This rings true for everyone, including the Black community. Navigating these emotional challenges while embracing your identity is a shared experience across different backgrounds. As with many things, it is up to us, as individuals and as a community, to break the chain of silence that plagues us when it comes to seeing a therapist.

A Team of Troublemakers

Psoriasis is never a loner and often brings friends, like psoriatic arthritis, heart issues, diabetes, and even a touch of the blues. Within the Black community, these challenges can be especially impactful due to healthcare disparities. But remember, knowledge is power, and seeking proper care can make a world of difference.  Don’t assume it’s one thing because it looks like something your auntie’s cousin’s best friend had. Get checked for psoriasis and its buddies!

Fight Fire with Options

The superhero arsenal against psoriasis is diverse, which remains true for everyone, including the Black community. Creams, light therapy, pills, biologics – the tools are available to create a personalized treatment plan that suits your unique needs.  Once you’ve determined there is an issue, start with an appointment with an esthetician.  She/he will tell you if a visit to the dermatologist is recommended.  I know, I know…it’s an extra expense, BUT! you gain two things: 1) knowledge about what’s going on with your skin and 2) some “me time” and a relaxing facial.

Though there’s no cure…YET…however, staying moisturized is critical to help soothe skin alongside your treatments.  Check out these brands by African American women who had a need for their skin and solved it with natural products (including me):

For Skin

– For Scalp/Hair

Spreading Awareness, One Chat at a Time

Raising awareness about psoriasis is vital, especially within the Black community. Bridging the gap in understanding, dispelling myths, and fostering conversations can lead to better support, both from the community and within healthcare systems.  Because, again, so many of us live with an issue for years, constantly trying things that don’t work.  If we just talk and encourage one another to get checked, find out what’s going on, and spread the word, the Black community as a whole reaps the benefits.

In a nutshell, psoriasis isn’t just a skin thing; it’s an experience that connects millions around the world, including the Black community. Armed with these tidbits, you are #psoaware and ready to share the scoop on psoriasis’s twists, turns, and tales that go beyond the skin. Let’s keep the conversation going, support each other, and make the world a bit brighter for everyone on this journey, regardless of their background.  No one to talk to?  Reach out to me!  I’m no doctor, but over half of my life has been spent combatting skin disease, and I’ve got a pretty good listening ear.

 

 

Article Written by: Kim Cross | Kim is the owner and Happy Skin Formulator at Zhi Bath & Body, a natural skincare shop based in Charlotte, NC.  She has been in the beauty industry for the last 30 years as a stylist and skincare formulator.  Having dealt with severe psoriasis for over 20 years, she knows the hardship of finding products that are gentle, good for the skin, and smell amazing. 16 years of research and formulating has resulted in a goat milk skincare and soy candle line that is simply amazing. Helping you love you…naturally. 

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