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“World Psoriasis Day (WPD) is observed on October 29 every year around the world. Sponsored by the International Federation of Psoriasis Association (IFPA), the campaign shines light on the challenges faced by those suffering from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Reports suggest that about 25 million people around the world get affected by psoriasis. It is estimated about 10-30 percent of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis. The one-day global campaign aims to feature the stories from those around the world living with psoriatic disease and share them to spread awareness about this skin condition worldwide. Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune condition that involves the rapid buildup of skin cells that causes scaling on the skin’s surface. The thick, scaly plaques that build up on the surface of the skin may cause inflammation and redness. The scaly plaques may normally develop on joints (like elbows and knees) and other parts of the body including the hands, feet, neck, scalp and face. The exact factors that cause this skin condition are not known. However, genetics and immune system problems are expected to play a key role. Treatment for this auto-immune condition aims to reduce inflammation and clear the skin.

A combination of topical treatments like light therapy and systemic medications are offered as part of the treatment. Dermatologists and other specialists treating this autoimmune disorder can rely on experienced medical billing and coding companies to meet their claim submission tasks.

The 2020 one-day world campaign is dedicated to people living with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis and aims to raise awareness, spread information, improve access to treatment and give the psoriasis community a voice. WPD is an opportunity for the psoriasis community to speak out from a common platform – and have their voice heard. The campaign stresses the fact that this skin condition affects people not just physically, but also socially, emotionally and economically. There are different types of psoriasis and the type and severity of symptoms may differ from person to person and may largely depend on the type of psoriasis a person suffers from. Red, raised, inflamed patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales are one of the early symptoms of this condition. Other related symptoms include – soreness/itching/burning sensation around the patches, small scaling, dry/cracked skin that may bleed, swollen and stiff joints, and thick pitted nails. Symptoms may occur in flares (that occur for different lengths of time) with specific periods of remission that last for an average of 1-12 months at a time.

Diagnosis of this skin-condition may begin with a detailed medical history analysis and physical examination of the patient’s skin, scalp and nails. However, in some cases, if the dermatologist cannot clearly identify the symptoms, a small sample of skin (known as biopsy) may be collected and sent for laboratory examination (to determine the type of psoriasis and rule out other possible disorders or infections). As there is no definite treatment for this condition, a combination of systemic medications (methotrexate, cyclosporine, biologics, retinoids), topical therapies (creams and ointments) and light therapy (like ultraviolet (UV) or natural light) can help reduce plaques. Dermatology medical billing and coding can be challenging. Dermatologists diagnosing the causes, symptoms and offering treatment for psoriasis patients are reimbursed for their services. The correct ICD-10 codes must be used to indicate a diagnosis of psoriasis. ICD-10 codes for psoriasis include –

  • L40 – Psoriasis
  • L40.0 – Psoriasis vulgaris
  • L40.1 – Generalized pustular psoriasis
  • L40.2 – Acrodermatitis continua
  • L40.3 – Pustulosis palmaris et plantaris
  • L40.4 – Guttate psoriasis
  • L40.5 – Arthropathic psoriasis
  • L40.50 – Arthropathic psoriasis, unspecified
  • L40.51 – Distal interphalangeal psoriatic arthropathy
  • L40.52 – Psoriatic arthritis mutilans
  • L40.53 – Psoriatic spondylitis
  • L40.54 – Psoriatic juvenile arthropathy
  • L40.59 – Other psoriatic arthropathy
  • L40.8 – Other psoriasis
  • L40.9 – Psoriasis, unspecified

World Psoriasis Day (WPD) first came into the picture in the year 2004. In 2004, several psoriasis patient associations joined together and created a Steering Committee that made World Psoriasis Day a resounding success. Over the span of 16 years, the international campaign has grown into a leading platform for everyone to unite voices and promote psoriasis advocacy efforts. Today, World Psoriasis Day is observed in over 56 countries worldwide.

Each year, IFPA sets a specific theme for the upcoming World Psoriasis Day. The theme encourages IFPA members’ activities and shines a spotlight on a specific psoriasis-related issue. Several core communication messages accompany the theme to explain its relevance. The theme for World Psoriasis Day 2020 is “INFORMED”. IFPA and its members in 56 countries are organizing activities and advocacy campaigns to promote awareness, empowerment, and action. By promoting reliable information, IFPA builds data, toolkits and other resources to improve the quality of life for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Each year, IFPA member associations organize a wide variety of World Psoriasis Day activities – from small gatherings to large-scale events to give the event well-deserved attention. These activities include – awareness-raising walks or running events, lectures or seminars held by medical professionals, handing out flyers and brochures in public places, free psoriasis assessment and consultations at hospitals, photo exhibitions with psoriasis-related themes, posting latest updates on IFPA’s WPD campaigns and plans on social media platforms (like Facebook or Twitter), wearing orange and blue color on October 29, and arranging fundraising barbecues, get-togethers or concerts.

Be part of World Psoriasis Day (WPD) on October 29 and spread the word about this chronic, auto-immune disease.