WAUSAU –  There is no cure for it yet, but 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis, according to the World Psoriasis Day consortium.

World Psoriasis Day is Oct. 29 and it aims to teach the public about the disease.

Dr. Stephen Lewellis

“Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that typically causes red, itchy, scaly patches, commonly on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp,” said Dr. Stephen Lewellis, who practices at Aspirus. “There are several different types of psoriasis, and it can flare up for a few weeks or months at a time. It can even cause swelling and pain in the joints, which is called psoriatic arthritis.”

One should contact their medical provider if they think they have psoriasis or if their diagnosed psoriasis:

  • Becomes severe or widespread
  • Causes discomfort and pain
  • Causes concern about the appearance of your skin
  • Leads to joint problems, such as pain, swelling or inability to perform daily tasks
  • Doesn’t improve with treatment

“The cause of psoriasis isn’t entirely clear, but we know it’s related to an over-activation of part of the immune system,” Lewellis said. “Researchers believe both genetics and environmental factors play a role as well. It is not contagious.”

You can contact the Aspirus Dermatology Clinic at 715-847-2626 or visit the Aspirus website for more information.