National Psoriasis Foundation held Skin of Color Congressional Briefing

Briefing supports efforts to improve health outcomes for all impacted by psoriasis

Oct 22, 2015, 14:41 ET from National Psoriasis Foundation

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To ensure that all people living with psoriasis get the care they need, the National Psoriasis Foundation held a congressional briefing today to highlight the unique challenges faced by African-American, Asian, Latino and other diverse populations within the psoriatic disease community.  

Although psoriasis affects 7.5 million Americans, it is reported less frequently in African-American, Asian, Latino and other non-Caucasian populations. Yet studies show that these populations are more deeply affected by psoriasis than Caucasians, on both a physical and psychological level.

"The two emotions I felt after my diagnosis were frustration and embarrassment," said Jonathan Scott, a nine-year veteran of the National Football League and featured patient panelist at the congressional briefing. "By learning more about psoriasis and getting involved with the National Psoriasis Foundation, I gained confidence in myself and my ability to manage the condition. I hope that by spreading awareness of psoriasis among people of color, I can help others in my community feel comfortable in their own skin."

In addition to Scott, other panelists included Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), nationally recognized dermatologist Paul Wallace, M.D., and Amy McMichael, M.D., chair of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity.

"Through this congressional briefing and other skin of color efforts, we hope to shine a light on underserved populations in the psoriasis community," said Randy Beranek, president and CEO of the National Psoriasis Foundation. "These efforts will help us meet our goal of dramatically improving health outcomes for all people with psoriatic disease."

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Psoriasis is a chronic, genetic disease of the immune system that appears on the skin, causing it to crack, itch and bleed. It is the most common autoimmune disease in the country, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans. Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain and swelling of the joints. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can cause irreversible joint damage.

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About the National Psoriasis Foundation
The National Psoriasis Foundation is the world's largest nonprofit organization serving people 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. For more information, call the Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Ore., at 800-723-9166, or visit

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SOURCE National Psoriasis Foundation