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WHO Cares About Psoriasis?

  • 3 min read

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Abundant Natural Health (ANH) do!

WHO released a global report in 2016 about Psoriasis to increase awareness of psoriasis in order to empower policy makers and provide solutions to improve health care and social inclusion of people living with psoriasis.

You can check out the official document here: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/204417/9789241565189_eng.pdf;sequence=1)

Not to sound like a broken record but psoriasis has been recognised as a chronic disease with high comorbidities. This means that psoriasis is usually a life long condition (however in some cases it does disappear) and with it comes other physical, mental and social health problems (1).

There is no cure for psoriasis, so this in itself has great negative impact on suffers quality of life. However treatment is based around symptom management. It is important to note that symptom management may not just be addressing the physical itchiness, scaling or burning, but also all the other emotional and social burdens people with psoriasis feel (2-4).

As I said there are other associated conditions with psoriasis which I have tabulated. (2-6)

Psoriasis Co-morbidities

Physical

Emotional

Social

Cardiovascular Disease

Metabolic Syndrome

High Blood Pressure

Diabetes

High Cholesterol

Crohn’s DIsease

Depression

Anxiety Disorders

Embarrassment

Lack of self-Esteem

Suicide Ideation

Stigmatisation

Social Exclusion

Discrimination

Add on costs

Long Treatment Time

Poor Treatment Satisfaction

 

WHO recognising that psoriasis is also a psychological and social condition allows for holistic and more targeted treatment. Depression is more prevalent and the perpetuating drivers like social exclusion, discrimination and stigma are psychologically damaging.

“It is not psoriasis causing the exclusion – it is largely society’s reaction to it and this can change”- WHO, 2016

It is this social avoidance from public places like schools, workplaces and swimming pools that really take a toll on how people live their lives. A study conducted on European psoriasis patients found that daily activities were also impacted. These activities included: clothing choice, bathing more, washing/changing clothes more often, sport activities, sleep disorders, inhibiting work activities, sexual difficulties and social relations (7).

Without acknowledging the psychological and social burden of psoriasis treatment will continue to be ineffective. By increasing the dialogue around psoriasis will increase awareness and ultimately allow society to react differently, so psoriasis suffers can live their lives without stigma and judgement.

 

References

  1. World Health Organisation. (2016). Global report on PSORIASIS. Retrieved 12 December 2019, from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/204417/9789241565189_eng.pdf;sequence=1
  2. Fuji R, Mould JF J, Tang B, Brandt H, Pomerantz D, Chapnick J et al. Burden of disease in patients with diagnosed psoriasis in Brazil: results from 2011 national health and wellness survey (NHWS). Value Health. 2012;15(4):A107.
  3. Stern RS, Nijsten T, Feldman SR, Margolis DJ, Rolstad T. Psoriasis is common, carries a substantial burden even when not extensive, and is associated with widespread treatment dissatisfaction. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2004;9(2):136–9.
  4. Kimball AB, Jacobson C, Weiss S, Vreeland MG, Wu Y. The psychosocial burden of psoriasis. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2005;6(6):383–92.
  5. Russo PAJ, Ilchef R, Cooper AJ. Psychiatric morbidity in psoriasis: a review. Australas J Dermatol. 2004;45(3):155– 9; quiz;160–1.
  6. Augustin M, Radtke MA, Glaeske G, Reich K, Christophers E, Schaefer I et al. Epidemiology and Comorbidity in Children with Psoriasis and Atopic Eczema. Dermatology. 2015;231(1):35–40.
  7. Dubertret L, Mrowietz U, Ranki A, van de Kerkhof PC, Chimenti S Lotti T et al. European patient perspectives on the impact of psoriasis: the EUROPSO patient membership survey. Br J Dermatol. 155(4):729–36.

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