7 out of 10 psoriasis patients face social discrimination

ANI | Updated: Oct 28, 2017 12:08 IST

7 out of 10 psoriasis patients face social discrimination .

New Delhi [India], October 28, 2017 (ANI): Today, 125 million people globally suffer from a serious auto-immune disease called Psoriasis . Psoriasis is a severe, chronic, non-communicable disease (NCD) that dramatically reduces the quality of life of affected individuals, and takes a high mental, emotional, social, and economic toll on them .

Majority of patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis complain of being subjected to discrimination, humiliation and being stared at in public .

According to the findings of the 'Clear About Psoriasis' global survey, 48% of patients said that psoriasis impacted their professional life and 30% stated that psoriasis affected their past or current personal relationships .

Findings show that in India 18% of people with psoriasis have been asked if they are contagious . 36% of people admitted to feeling ashamed of their skin and the way they look .

The lack of hope and self-esteem made most patients believe that achieving clear or almost clear skin is not a realistic goal for them . Psoriatic patients often struggle to receive an accurate diagnosis, have difficulty accessing appropriate treatment and care, and face discrimination and stigma .

It is still not known why psoriasis happens but the most common belief is that genetic factors, stress, skin injury and a faulty immune system triggers this skin problem .

In psoriasis, the immune system mistakenly starts attacking healthy skin cells, accelerating the process and causing the dead skin cells to rapidly build up on the skin's surface, giving it a raised, scaly, itchy, dry, and red appearance .

There are usually three stages of Psoriasis based on the amount of area of the skin damaged . Psoriasis is categorized as mild when plaques cover less than 3 percent of the body and moderate when they cover 3-10 percent of the body . When the disease affects more than 10 percent of the body, it's considered severe .

Dr . Abir Saraswat, National Convener, Special Interest Group - Psoriasis, Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL), said, "Psoriasis is an immunologically mediated condition largely seen in genetically pre-disposed individuals . Here, the immune system is responsible for attacking some parts of the skin because in those areas, the skin gives out wrong signals . It is important to work with a dermatologist to find treatment that works for you and fits your lifestyle . Treatment can reduce signs and symptoms of psoriasis, which usually makes a person feel better . With treatment, some people see their skin completely clear . Effective treatment can significantly improve quality of life" .

Though non- curable, Psoriasis can be effectively managed if diagnosed in a timely manner . Psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of psoriatic arthritis, lymphomas, cardiovascular disease, Crohn's disease, and depression . Psoriatic arthritis affects up to 30% of individuals with psoriasis .

Depending upon the stage of psoriasis, the treatment option is determined . The most widely used treatment for psoriasis are topical treatments, phototherapy (light therapy), systemics and biologics . Biologic drugs are considered the most effective treatment options for severe psoriasis . They are protein-based drugs that target those specific parts of the immune system, that are responsible for triggering psoriasis .

While these treatments are very important to fight psoriasis, it is also essential to be empathetic towards patients and encourage them to feel confident . This World Psoriasis Day, let's pledge to challenge the social stigma against psoriasis patients, so that they talk to a dermatologist and seek clear skin! (ANI)