What Is Psoriasis: Things You Need to Know

psoriasis

Story at-a-glance -

  • Psoriasis is more than just a dry and scaly disorder — it’s a devastating chronic and autoimmune inflammatory disease
  • A huge number (73 percent) of patients with severe psoriasis and around half of respondents (48 percent) with moderate psoriasis had low self-confidence that seriously affected their daily lives

Psoriasis is more than just a dry and scaly disorder — it’s a devastating chronic and autoimmune inflammatory disease.1

Psoriasis occurs because of a fast turnover of cells that grow deep within the skin and slowly rise to the surface. In normal people, this process typically takes one month or around 21 to 28 days.

Among psoriasis patients, however, the skin turnover happens in at least two to six days2 because the cells rise too fast and pile up on the surface as a result.3

How Do You Know If You Have Psoriasis?

A major sign that you have psoriasis is the development of itchy or sore patches of thick and red skin, called plaques, covered with silvery scales. These plaques can appear anywhere in the body, but are most commonly seen on the:4

Legs

Scalp

Lower back

Face

Palms

Soles of the feet

Your fingernails, toenails, soft tissues and genitals and inside the mouth can also be the site of psoriasis plaques, so constantly check these areas as well.5

These People Have a Higher Risk for Psoriasis

Adults are more prone to have psoriasis,6 although the condition could also occur in people between 15 to 35 years old.7 There are, however, certain risk factors that can predispose you to psoriasis, no matter what age you are, such as:8

Having a family history of the condition

Having a viral or bacterial infection

Obesity

Smoking

Uncontrolled stress

Certain medications, such as those used to treat bipolar disorder and high blood pressure

If these risk factors affect you or someone you know, it’s vital to practice preventive techniques to stop the disease from affecting the body.

How Psoriasis Affects Your Health and Emotions

Immediate detection and treatment of psoriasis is important, as the condition can lead to these complications:9

Psoriatic arthritis

Eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis and uveitis

Type 2 diabetes

High blood pressure

Metabolic syndrome

Autoimmune diseases

Kidney disease

Parkinson’s disease

Cardiovascular disease

Obesity

Aside from these health impacts, psoriasis could also take a toll on your emotions, as psoriasis patients may experience low self-esteem, depression, social isolation and work problems.10

A 2004 report confirmed the emotional effects of psoriasis. A survey intended to know the effect of psoriasis on four aspects (self-esteem, work/school, relationships and social interactions) was conducted on 502 patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis by NFO, a market research firm.11

The results, in a nutshell, showed that a huge number (73 percent) of patients with severe psoriasis and around half of respondents (48 percent) with moderate psoriasis had low self-confidence that seriously affected their daily lives.12

More importantly, it was a lack of understanding among the general public that played a major role in these feelings of low self-esteem. Respondents cited the following reasons why they thought the general public did not show a certain understanding towards psoriasis patients:13

Public is ignorant about psoriasis (67 percent)

Public is afraid that the disease may be contagious (64 percent)

Public is disgusted by the condition (56 percent)

Psoriasis patients are often the target of “ridicule” by the public (45 percent)

Public does not understand much about the disease (8 percent)

A very important takeaway from a condition like psoriasis was stated well by Dr. Alan Menter, a member of the Beyond Psoriasis Advisory Board and the Chief of the Division of Dermatology at Baylor University Medical Center. He says:

"Comprehensive care of psoriasis goes beyond treating the symptoms. This survey validates the need for an understanding about how psoriasis can impact a patient's social life and emotional and physical well-being."

Psoriasis is not just a disease that affects a patient on the outside, as the ramifications and potential impacts go beyond skin deep. This is why it’s important to have the disease checked as early as possible to prevent psoriasis from further affecting you or someone you know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

MORE ABOUT PSORIASIS

Psoriasis: Introduction

What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis In Children

Psoriasis vs Eczema

Psoriatic Arthritis

Is Psoriasis Contagious?

Psoriasis Causes

Psoriasis Types

Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis Prevention

Psoriasis Diet

Celebrities With Psoriasis

< Previous

Psoriasis: Introduction

Next >

Psoriasis In Children

Post your comment
Click Here and be the first to comment on this article