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Dermatologists emphasise impact of psoriasis on everyday life.

ISLAMABAD -- Women have greater difficulty dealing with the psychological and social issues brought on by psoriasis, with almost 60pc saying that psoriasis interferes with their ability to enjoy life, as compared to 52pc of men, dermatologists said in a statement released in connection with International Psoriasis Day on Sunday.

International Psoriasis Day is observed on Oct 29 with an aim to increase awareness of the skin disease.

Psoriasis drastically affects the everyday lives of patients, and affects more than 125 million worldwide.

According to a report by the Pakistan Psoriasis Foundation, based on a survey of 5,000 patients 20pc of women said the disease is a significant problem in their everyday lives, compared to 12pc of men.

Dr Uzma Ali, a dermatologist at Capital Hospital, said psoriases can also cause inflammation of the joints, known as psoriatic arthritis.

'Almost 10 to 15pc of people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis. The risk for diabetes mellitus rises substantially in patients with psoriasis, with a 62pc increase in risk noted in patients with severe psoriasis. Psoriasis appears to have a greater impact on women's lives and early cardiovascular deaths have been reported in psoriatic patients,' she said.

She added: 'Psoriasis has a bimodal age of disease onset. The first peak is around 20 and the second peak is around 60. Around one-third of patients are under the age of 18 years. Childhood obesity and psoriasis is considered amongst one of the prevalent factors. It is said that psoriasis has a genetic basis, as 23pc to 71pc of children will have a family history of psoriasis.'

The head of Lady Reading Hospital's dermatology department, Dr Sahibzada Mahmood Noor, said psoriasis patients feel that people in general, including doctors, underestimate the overall impact the disease has on their lives.

'It is evident that the disease burden of psoriasis extends beyond the physical symptoms experienced by the patient,' he said.

He added that health professional and the general public should not minimise its impact, as skin disorders are often chronic but not life-threatening but they severely affect the mental wellbeing of patients.

Psychologists who know the impact of the mental anxiety should come forward to help patients, he said.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Oct 29, 2018
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