Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects up to 3 per cent of the population of the UK.1 The most common form of the condition is plaque psoriasis, which typically appears as red, raised scaly plaques.
Psoriasis affects men and women equally and can occur at any age. Despite being treatable and manageable, psoriasis is incurable and can be a lifelong burden with a profound impact on patients' emotional well-being and quality of life.
The potential psychosocial effects of psoriasis have been well-documented, and have been found to be equal to, or more damaging, than those seen in patients with cancer, arthritis or diabetes.2
Visibility of psoriasis
At the core of the emotional burden of psoriasis is its visibility. A survey carried out by the Psoriasis Association, found patients were most concerned about achieving clearance in visible areas. 3
This, coupled with the real or perceived reactions of others, can lead to low self-esteem, which in turn may lead to a withdrawal from social events or public places, and may affect all aspects of life, including sexual relationships and confidence at work.