(NAPSA) - Psoriasis can be physically and emotionally painful, and the hardships of living with this disease are well known to Jerry Mathers, former child star of the '50s TV hit "Leave It To Beaver."
Mathers, who has had psoriasis for more than 20 years, says, "Living with psoriasis is no picnic. Sometimes my skin is so itchy and painful that I can't sleep. I know that many people hide their disease because it can be embarrassing. Fortunately, there are new medicines in development called biologics that will treat psoriasis in a whole new way." More than 4.5 million Americans are living with psoriasis, a serious and often painful and debilitating disease that afflicts the skin. Psoriasis occurs when faulty signals in the immune system trigger skin cells to regenerate every three or four days instead of the usual 30-day cycle, forming red, raised, scaly patches of skin called plaques. Because there is a stigma associated with psoriasis, many people are ashamed and embarrassed by their skin's appearance, and they cover up, wearing long sleeves and pants on even the hottest summer days.
A survey conducted by the National Psoriasis Foundation shows that although there are more than a dozen prescription therapies available for psoriasis, many people with the disease are disappointed with current treatments because they don't always work and can have unwanted side effects.
"For the first time in 20 years, there are new treatments on the horizon that were specifically engineered for people with moderate to severe psoriasis," says Gail M. Zimmerman, president and CEO of the National Psoriasis Foundation. To find out more information about psoriasis, please visit www.Psoriasis.org
Note: In 2009 and 2010, Mathers was the national spokesperson for PhRMA and their Partnership for Prescription Assistance program. This organization helps uninsured and financially-struggling patients obtain prescription medicines for free or nearly free.