Seminar on Psoriasis To Be Held


May 14, 2005
Observer-Reporter, Pittsburg

Seminar on PSORIASIS to be Held
With the weather turning warmer, more Americans are showing some skin as summer clothes reappear.

But for about 5 million Americans afflicted with psoriasis – a noncurable, but not life-threatening disease – summer is not a fun time.

Dr. Ava Cadell, a relationship therapist from Los Angeles, along with a nationally recognized dermatologist, will be holding a one-hour seminar at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The causes and treatments will be discussed, as will the impact of psoriasis on other aspects of life, including tips to help people with psoriasis talk to others about the disease and how to live with it.

“Psoriasis is a terrible disease, an autoimmune disease, not a simple little rash,” Cadell said during a telephone interview from California Thursday. “We found in a recent survey through Making Connections that 40 percent felt no one wanted to be involved with them. Many suffer from depression, another disease, and that adds to the lack of quality they feel.

” Making Connections is a national program for those with psoriasis, which is hosting the seminar at the Renaissance Hotel in Pittsburgh. The program is a partnership of the National Psoriasis Foundation and Amgen and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

“This is not contagious,” Dr. Cadell said. “We want to educate people. It’s not life-threatening, and it’s treatable, but it’s not curable. It manifests on the skin, any part of the skin, and some are worse than others. It can be in the most embarrassing areas and people often avoid outings to the beach, picnics or working out, and they plan their activities around their skin.

” Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease causing scaling and inflammation that affects almost 2.5 percent of the U.S. population. It primarily affects adults, and it appears equally in males and females. Additionally, some experience joint inflammation that produces symptoms of arthritis, resulting in a condition known as psoriatic arthritis.

The condition occurs when skin cells quickly rise from below the surface and pile up before they mature. The result is patches of thick, red skin covered with slivery scales that itch or feel sore.

Communication and honesty are important in dealing with the disease, she said.

“Be the first one to say something,” Cadell said. “If people look, then say, ‘Have you heard of psoriasis? Then let me tell you about it. I’m not contagious and I won’t die here, but I have a condition.'”

Her best advice: Don’t make a big deal out of the condition, and don’t become a victim. And recognize the triggers for outbreaks, such as stress, and the onset of warm or cold weather.

For those wishing to attend the seminar, registration is not necessary, but is available online at Doors will open at 6 p.m.