Psoriasis Sufferers Get a Hand From Tim Gunn

TV personality Tim Gunn has joined the awareness campaign Addressing Psoriasis to help people living with the skin condition.

Amgen and Wyeth have announced they have partnered with Tim Gunn, television host and fashion consultant for Project Runway Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style, to launch Addressing Psoriasis, an awareness campaign designed to help people with plaque psoriasis get more information about managing their disease and feel more confident in their everyday style. Dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, MD, and Gunn are working together to encourage people with plaque psoriasis to visit a dermatologist and take the first step in managing their condition.

The cornerstone of the campaign is a contest to recognize people who have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis but who try not to allow the condition to inhibit their personal style. Individuals 18 or older with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis are eligible to enter for a chance to participate in the Addressing Psoriasis™ Fashion Show hosted by Gunn in New York City on Sept. 2, 2009. Eight winners will walk the runway and help raise public awareness of this condition. To learn how to enter the contest, view official rules, find useful resources about psoriasis and obtain style tips from Gunn, visit

“This program is designed to help people with psoriasis feel more confident with their everyday style, because style is just as much about confidence as it is clothing. When someone doesn’t feel confident, it is reflected in the clothing choices he or she makes,” said Gunn. “Psoriasis is a chronic condition, but it doesn’t have to define who you are or how you present yourself to the world. If you have psoriasis, it is important to educate yourself about how you can take an active role in your condition—and your style.”

Psoriasis, which affects nearly 7 million Americans, is a chronic disease of the immune system that causes the skin cells to grow at an accelerated rate. Although there are several types of psoriasis, approximately 80% of patients suffer from plaque psoriasis, which causes painful and itchy red, scaly patches.

According to a 2007 National Psoriasis Foundation survey, 40% of patients reported choosing their clothing to conceal their psoriasis. The Foundation's 2008 survey also found:

  • 63% of respondents expressed significant feelings of self-consciousness,
  • 57% indicated their psoriasis impacts their self-esteem,
  • 62% of respondents reported significant itching, and
  • 49% reported significant pain.

Each survey had approximately 400 respondents, two-thirds of which reported being diagnosed with moderate to severe psoriasis.

Dr. Taylor, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, adds, “I’ve seen many psoriasis patients limit their clothing selections in order to cover their disease. I urge people with psoriasis to visit a dermatologist to learn more about their disease and find a treatment regimen that may work for them.”

About Addressing Psoriasis

The Addressing Psoriasis campaign was developed to inspire people with plaque psoriasis to be confident and not allow the condition to inhibit their everyday style. Addressing Psoriasis is sponsored by Amgen and Wyeth with participation from the American Academy of Dermatology, the National Psoriasis Foundation and Psoriasis Cure Now. To learn more about Addressing Psoriasis™ or to enter the contest, visit

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