The Emotional Effects of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a condition characterized by mild to severe scaly plaques on the elbows, knees and body, but can be accompanied by a wide range of effects beyond just the skin. What is often overlooked is the emotional effects of this disease. As Psoriasis skin lesions are often very apparent on the body, patients can feel self-conscious, disfigured, and suffer from both physical and mental harm.
The Physical Stresses Of Psoriasis
“Skin disease are public diseases,” says Dr. Miriam Hanson, board-certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas. “No matter if it’s acne or eczema, our appearance, our image of ourselves and how other see us directly affects how we interact with one another, our work and our personal relationships.”
“Patients suffering from Psoriasis are more likely to develop stress-related and behavioral disorders,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board-certified Dermatologist in Austin, Texas. “Whether you focus on the aesthetics or physical symptoms of this disease, the effects can be quite severe.”
Psoriasis skin lesions can itch, crack and can be susceptible to bleeding. Twenty percent or more of Psoriasis patients also struggle from Psoriatic Arthritis, which causes joint inflammation and large amounts of pain. Moreover, psoriasis has been linked to other health conditions, including Crohn’s Disease, Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases, Obesity, and even Cancer.
Combined with feelings of extreme self-consciousness, patients often describe feeling that no one understands their condition, or that there is any hope for a normal life.
Impact on Emotional & Social Life
“The chronic nature of this disease can lead to a continuous cycle of emotional and physical distress, which unfortunately can also actually worsen the symptoms of psoriasis,” says Dr. Mamelak. Studies have shown higher rates of depression, trouble sleeping, loss of interests, and inability to focus amongst psoriasis sufferers. Feeling low self worth can lead to less social interaction and effect work performance, as those who struggle are less able to stay focused or have the energy necessary to complete job tasks.
What Is The Solution?
“We do know that treating psoriasis skin disease improves emotional stress that patients feel,” states Dr. Hanson. There are multiple treatments to minimize the effects of psoriasis that include light therapies, systemic medications, and topical treatments. New treatments are continually being introduced that target the inflammatory pathways and cell signals that lead to the development of this disease, and ongoing research focuses on alleviating both the symptoms and stresses that come with Psoriasis.
If you suffer from psoriasis and feel your disease can be better controlled, treatments area available. Contact us today to find out your options for treating your skin disease and its symptoms.