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(BPT) - Following her poolside reporting assignment in Rio this summer, twelve-time Olympic medalist and author Dara Torres is diving into her next endeavor—to share her personal story with psoriasis and to raise awareness about the disease.

Psoriasis is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease, which causes increased skin cell growth that may appear on the skin as raised, sometimes red patches, covered with a silvery buildup of dead skin cells. People living with psoriasis often report that the disease has emotional and physical challenges. In fact, a survey reported nearly 9 out of 10 people living with psoriasis experienced self-consciousness or embarrassment about their condition.

Torres is one of 7.5 million people in the U.S. living with psoriasis, and she understands what it means to overcome her fears and achieve her goals – both in and out of the pool. Despite having lived with plaque psoriasis for nearly two decades, Torres has never let fear or embarrassment keep her out of a bathing suit, out of the pool, or stop her from achieving her goals. She didn’t let it keep her from becoming the first and only female swimmer to represent the U.S. team in five Olympic Games or being the oldest swimmer ever, at age 41, to earn a place on the U.S. team. Out of the pool, she went on to become a New York Times best-selling author, co-host of a cable sports TV show, and—what she considers her greatest achievement—a proud mom.

Torres’ passion to help others is why she says she has teamed up with Celgene, the makers of Otezla® (apremilast), to launch the SHOW MORE OF YOU campaign, which aims to inspire people living with psoriasis to raise awareness about their condition and celebrate their accomplishments. Torres is encouraging people with psoriasis and those who support them to join her and others by sharing inspirational photos and messages of how they are showing more of their true selves.                                          

To learn more about the SHOW MORE OF YOU campaign, psoriasis, Torres’ personal story, and to upload inspiring photos or messages, visit ShowMoreOfYou.com.

APPROVED USE 

Otezla® (apremilast) is a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis for whom phototherapy or systemic therapy is appropriate. 

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION 

You must not take Otezla® (apremilast) if you are allergic to apremilast or to any of the ingredients in Otezla.

Otezla is associated with an increase in adverse reactions of depression. In clinical studies, some patients reported depression and suicidal behavior while taking Otezla. Some patients stopped taking Otezla due to depression. Before starting Otezla, tell your doctor if you have had feelings of depression, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal behavior. Be sure to tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or other mood changes develop or worsen during treatment with Otezla.

Some patients taking Otezla lost body weight. Your doctor should monitor your weight regularly. If unexplained or significant weight loss occurs, your doctor will decide if you should continue taking Otezla.

Some medicines may make Otezla less effective, and should not be taken with Otezla. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines.

Side effects of Otezla were diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, tension headache, and headache.

These are not all the possible side effects with Otezla. Ask your doctor about other potential side effects. Tell your doctor about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or planning to breastfeed. Otezla has not been studied in pregnant women or in women who are breastfeeding.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.  

Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-332-1088. 

Please click here for Full Prescribing Information. 

© 2016 Celgene Corporation 08/16   USII-APR160175