Demystifying Psoriasis

To put a face to the face-disfiguring disease and help clarify many of its myths and misconceptions, filmmaker and psoriasis sufferer Fred Finkelstein has created the first documentary film about psoriasis.

psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that affects as many as 1 in 50 Americans. Yet despite these statistics, psoriasis remains one of the most commonly misunderstood diseases in this country. To put a face to the psoriasis and help clarify many of psoriasis myths and misconceptions, filmmaker and psoriasis sufferer Fred Finkelstein has created the first documentary film about psoriasis called, “My Skin’s on Fire.”

“My Skin’s on Fire” is a documentary that chronicles the lives of individuals with psoriasis who talk openly about the dramatic emotional, social and psychological impact of this chronic disease.

Psoriasis is a common skin inflammation (irritation and swelling) characterized by frequent episodes of redness, itching, and thick, dry, silvery scales on the skin.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Psoriasis is a very common condition, with approximately 3 million Americans affected. It can appear suddenly or gradually. In many cases, psoriasis goes away and then flares up again repeatedly over time. The disorder may affect people of any age, but it most commonly begins between ages 15 and 35.

Psoriasis seems to be an inherited disorder, probably related to an inflammatory response in which the immune system accidentally targets the body’s own cells. Evidence of the condition is most commonly seen on the trunk, elbows, knees, scalp, skin folds, or fingernails, but it may affect any or all parts of the skin.

The film explores the daily experiences of those living with psoriasis, a life-altering disease that often causes social and diseasetering effect on patients’ philosophy. Psoriasis is also putting patients in isolation and severe emotional suffering. The documentary also discusses psoriasis treatments available including topical creams and ointments.

“Patients who have psoriasis are as devastated emotionally with their disease, if not more so than any other chronic disease that is out there, including cancer,” says Dr. Alan Menter of Baylor University.

“My Skin’s on Fire” offers a message of hope and empowerment for psoriasis sufferers.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 8, 2011
Last revised: by Tatiana Kuznetsova, D.M.D.