Middle Georgia Psoriasis Foundation support group help patients cope

Middle Georgia Psoriasis Foundation support group help patients cope

More than four thousand people suffer with psoriasis, although there is no cure for the disease it can be controlled through medication.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - More than four thousand Middle Georgians suffer from either Psoriasis or Psoriatic Arthritis.

A new support group, Middle Georgia Psoriasis Foundation, is designed to help patients cope with the disease.

To look at Jill Johnson you would never know she has psoriasis.

"I started on the medication about three years ago and I've had great success with it,” says Johnson.

Johnson has worked with doctors for eight years to keep the skin disease under control.

She, with the help of Dermatologic Surgery Specialist Physician Assistant, Jason Cheyney, started the support group to help those dealing with the condition.

"I just want to get out there and help everybody that i can help,” says Johnson

cheyney says the foundation has three objectives, including bringing awareness about psoriasis.

The foundation has three objectives.

"To kind of increase the awareness in the community of the disease itself," says Cheyney.

They also wanted to educate the community about the disease, like the symptoms and ways to control their flare-ups.

Those who have the disease experience symptoms of itching and red patches of skin.

Cheyney says the biggest misconception is that psoriasis is contagious.

He says often patients become depress because there is no cure for the disease, but medication is available to control it.
However, some patients have more coping skills than others and he believes the new foundation can offer assistance.

"To get them support by connecting them to other individuals who have the disease itself,” he adds.

Cheyney says patients have many questions when they are diagnosed with having psoriasis.

"What do I do about the disease, what is my disease, why do I have my disease?" he says they ask him.

Johnson's father also suffered from severe psoriasis, she says she watched as he suffered without the medication that is available today.

"Deep down this just tares at my heart because I've seen what the disease did to my dad,” she says.

The Middle Georgia Psoriasis Foundation's next meeting is scheduled for September.

For more information about the foundation and locations of the meetings call (478) 742-2180.

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