Sunday, December 17, 2017

Psoriasis and Its Effect on Overall Quality of Life

September 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles

It is estimated that about 1% to 2% of human population globally is suffering from psoriasis. While the skin disorder is not fatal nor is it inducing unbearable pain, it is politically correct to refer to psoriasis patients as ‘sufferers.’ This is because such people suffer in many ways due to the onset and manifestation of the skin condition.

A 2008 survey of the National Psoriasis Foundation in the United States has found that out of 426 respondents (all psoriasis patients), 71% assert that the disorder is a significant problem in daily living. About 63% of the respondents feel self-consciousness and about 58% experience utmost embarrassment. A little more than a third complained that they are trying to avoid social activities, including dates and intimate interactions because of fear of rejection and prejudice that might be caused by the skin disorder.

Several studies also show that psoriasis is affecting quality of lives of sufferers. The effects are similar to those brought about by several other chronic ailments like depression, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, congestive heart failure, and myocardial infarction. Sufferers may report physical discomfort and some level of disability, depending on the location and severity of psoriasis flare ups or outbreaks.

The most common complaint about psoriasis is pain and itching. Many patients suffer minor and even deep scratches due to uncontrollable scratching when there is itch. Pain could be caused by inflammation of joints, as in the case or psoriatic arthritis. Itch and pain could very well affect or hinder basic or usual activities involving self care, sleep, and walking.

Many patients also suffer from lack of sleep. When there are flare ups, the discomfort could be so severe that a sufferer may find it harder to induce natural sleep. Lack of sleep may lead to additional stress, which in turn could further heighten psoriasis.

Psoriasis plaques appearing on the scalp could cause so much embarrassment and awkwardness. This is because there might be formation of flaky plaque in the scalp and hair, which could be mistaken as dandruff (a result of lack of proper hygiene). Scalp psoriasis could at times cause thinning of hair in the affected part, or worse, temporary hair loss.

If plaques manifest in the hands and feet, they could significantly prevent any individual from working under specific conditions and in particular occupations. The sufferer may be obstructed to enjoy playing several sports. They could also be less effective and functional in activities regarding caring for home and for family members. In this way, family and home living is affected.

Lastly, self consciousness is the top enemy of individuals suffering from the skin condition. The sufferers may feel inferior about their appearance. Eventually, they might experience poor self image as they foster possible fear of embarrassment and public rejection. There could also be other psychosexual concerns. The psychological distress that could be produced could lead to social isolation and depression.

Have you heard about ‘the heartbreak of psoriasis’? It is a phrase often used to describe the emotional effect of the skin disorder to sufferers. The phrase has been widely used to effectively mock any tendency of advertisers and people to exaggerate aspects of the disorder for any possible financial gain. Many products now claim to be the secret to curing psoriasis.

Such marketing campaigns are plain misleading because up to now, the skin disease is still treatable but incurable.

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