All about Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes red, scaly plaques anywhere on the body. It can decrease the quality of life, but there are effective treatments to control it.
Quality of life and psoriasis
Psoriasis can affect all aspects of life: work, family, sexual relations, emotional well-being, etc. Studies have shown that reduced quality of life in psoriasis sufferers is similar or even greater than that of patients with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes or asthma. The impact can be physical, social or emotional.
It is important to note that in many studies, the correlation of impaired Quality of Life scores with current clinical severity is low, indicating the impact of psoriasis on the individual goes beyond the apparent severity of skin lesions. Impact of psoriasis on the physical sphere.
Psoriasis lesions can affect day-to-day activities. For instance, psoriasis on the hands or feet may cause you to have difficulty dressing, writing or walking. Psoriasis in the genitals can affect your sex life. In addition, itching can interfere with sleep, which may affect your work or school performance.
Difficulty in social relations and the workplace
If you have psoriasis, it is likely that you have at some point felt uncomfortable about the curious looks or untimely questions of other people. The visibility of psoriasis can cause social rejection and a sense of stigmatization that has an impact on the sufferer’s work life and social relationships.
The visibility of psoriasis can increase the stress from a job interview and affect the way we interact with coworkers or clients. Unemployment rates and sick leaves are higher in people with psoriasis.
Impact of psoriasis on self-esteem and mood
Psoriasis can cause insecurity and low self-esteem. You may feel more self-conscious and worry about other people's reactions and what they think of you. Studies show that these feelings are common in people with psoriasis.
The symptoms of psoriasis reduce well-being and cause concern for personal appearance, shame and guilt, poor self-esteem, social exclusion and work difficulties; all of which can cause anxiety and depression. It is believed that inflammation also plays a role in the development of depression.
What to do if I observe any symptoms?
As we have seen, psoriasis can manifest in far more places than just the skin. Day-to-day life with psoriasis can be challenging. You may have times when you are feeling healthy, strong and resilient, but you may also have times when you experience feelings like loneliness, embarrassment, anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, anger or fear.
Working with your healthcare provider to find a treatment plan that helps to effectively manage your psoriatic disease can lessen your daily discomfort and create a sense of hope for the future. It is equally important to acknowledge how psoriatic disease impacts your life, ask for help from those around you, and create healthy habits to manage the challenges of living with a chronic disease.
- World Health Organization (WHO). Global report on psoriasis [Internet]. 2016. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/204417
- https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/emotional_impact_fact_sheet.pdf#utm_ source=EduPageCP
- https://www.eadv.org/cms-admin/showfile/9635-EADV PSORIASIS-6-Accepting psoriasis.pdf
Frequently asked questions about psoriasis
Psoriasis affects more than 60 million people worldwide.
It affects men and women equally and occurs more commonly in adults than in children. Psoriasis can occur at any age. While some studies indicated the average age of onset for psoriasis was 33 years of age, and 75% of cases occurred before 46 years of age (93), others suggested that the onset of psoriasis was bimodal with two peaks of the disease – the first between 16 and 22 and the second between 57 and 60 years of age.
Psoriasis has a hereditary component. That is, if you have psoriasis, your child is more likely to have it than other people. However, there are other factors that also play a role. The most important risk factors for psoriasis are obesity, smoking, alcohol use, infections, stress and some drugs.
No, psoriasis is not contagious, neither by contact nor by any other transmission mode.
Psoriasis cannot be cured. At present, there is no treatment that cures psoriasis. However, there are many medications that control the symptoms and allow you to lead a normal life.
Most people have mild psoriasis that is controlled with certain measures (such as hydrating the skin daily) and topical medications.
However, in some people, the disease affects a larger skin area or the joints or has a significant impact on the sufferer’s well-being and quality of life. In these cases, psoriasis may require other medications, either in tablets or in an injected form. Adequate and effective treatments are available for each person and for each type of psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a visible disease and because of that it can affect your quality of life. However, it does not impact all the people in the same way. It depends on many factors, such as the extension and intensity of the disease, the social environment and the personality of the sufferer. Anxiety and depression are frequent. To improve your quality of life, it is important for you to follow the treatment prescribed by your doctor, to maximize remission times and reduce the risk of other psoriasis-related diseases.
It is not known. It is impossible to predict how psoriasis will evolve in a specific person, or how long the flare-ups and remissions will last.
The doctor will adjust treatment based on disease course.
To date, diet has not been shown to be a risk factor to develop psoriasis. Therefore, there is no known food that causes psoriasis. Moreover, there is no scientific evidence to support a "diet for psoriasis".
However, it should not be forgotten that obesity is in fact a risk factor for psoriasis. Hence, following a hypocaloric or low-calorie diet to lose weight is beneficial for overweight people. In addition, psoriasis can be associated with cardiovascular diseases, and, therefore, a healthy, balanced and beneficial diet for the heart, such as a Mediterranean diet, is highly recommended.
Furthermore, if you have psoriasis and celiac disease, eliminating gluten from your diet can improve psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, which, on the other hand, does not recommend this type of diet in people without gluten intolerance.