Message from the Editor
The onset of my version of PRP began in early August 2012 with the sudden appearance of a small, red spot on my right temple near my hairline. Within a week the “inconsequential” spot had grown in size — enough to prompt a call to my dermatologist. By early September the side of my face, from my forehead to jaw, had been engulfed by red.
Initially misdiagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis, it took three months, the clinical observations of a more seasoned dermatologist, and a “supporting” biopsy before an “official” diagnosis of PRP was rendered. My treatment plan was initiated in early December with slow-paced success. It took another seventeen months before I was med-free and symptom free.
Whether you are a PRP patient or caregiver, you are on a journey that few can understand. There is, however, a PRP community of fellow travelers who have faced the same challenges of body, mind and spirit that you face today. The journey from onset to remission should not be undertaken alone.
Over the past five years there has been a dramatic expansion of resources available to support PRP patients and their caregivers. The PRP community must become more proactive in building awareness of these resources during 2018among two constituencies:
✽ PRP patients and caregivers
✽ Healthcare professionals responsible for the proper treatment of PRP
As a PRP patient or caregiver it is critical that you understand these resources and share there availability with your own dermatologist, general practitioner, podiatrist, opthamologist, ENT specialist, mental health specialist, etc.
1. Genetic and Rare Diseases Inforation Center GARD, a program of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, is funded by the National Institutes of Health. The office supports a variety of programs to serve the needs of patients who have any one of approximately 7,000 rare diseases known today. Their rare disease database includes information on each of 597 rare skin diseases including a recently updated overview of PRP. This is a “Must Read” for every PRP patient and caregiver.
❏ Read and share the GARD PRP Report
2. National Organization of Rare Disorders On September 20, 2017, NORD replaced the 1,500-word PRP Report (circa 2007) with a significantly more comprehensive, 5,000-word 2017 revision developed by the PRP Community. This overview is written in lay language and a “Must Read” for every PRP patient and caregiver.
❏ Read and share the NORD PRP Report
3. PRP Survival Guide Since its launch in 2013, this ever-expanding repository of information now includes over 400 PRP-specific articles written in lay language on topics specifically related to the diagnosis and treatment of PRP as reported by PRP patients and their caregivers.
4. PRP Facebook Support Group Founded in April 2013 by a PRP patient from British Columbia, Canada, membership in this Closed Group has grown steadily. Today over 1,170 PRP patients and caregivers ask questions, share our PRP-related experiences and provide insights only a fellow sufferer can offer. Our mantra: what works fro one doesn’t work for all. We are in this together.
❏ Join the PRP Facebook Support Group
5. PRP Community in Rare Connect Established in April 2015 as an initiative of EURORDIS, the international equivalent of the National Organization of Rare Disorders. the PRP Community on RareConnect is a 200+ member, multi-language, non-Facebook option serving adults with PRP and the parents of children diagnosed with juvenile onset.
❏ Join the PRP Community on RareConnect
6. PRP Alliance From a domain name registered in February 2013, the PRP Alliance has evolved into a 501(c)(3), nonprofit, patient advocacy organization with a mission is to advocate the timely and accurate diagnosis of pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP), the implementation of more effective and accessible treatment options, and an increase in PRP-specific research.
❏ Learn more about the PRP Alliance
On November 1, 2017, as part of the annual observance of PRP Awareness Month, the PRP Alliance executed mailing to the dermatology departments of 88 teaching hospitals in the U.S. This was the first salvo in a year-long Rare Skin Disease Referral Initiative seeking to link PRP patients with the PRP resources listed above.
The Last Word
PRP patients and caregivers who join the PRP community discover that they are not alone. YOU are not alone. WE are on this journey together.
Bill McCue, Editor PRP Survival Guide 1500 Commerce Drive Plano, TX 75093-2640 Email: bill.mccue@prpSurvivalGuide.org Website: prpSurvivalGuide.org
2018 Path Forward