Psoriasis

What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common, chronic, immune-mediated inflammatory disease that primarily involves the skin.1

Although the systemic nature of psoriasis often remains unrecognised, the inflammatory processes involved may be associated with the development of comorbidities, meaning having more than one medical condition at the same time, such as metabolic diseases,
psychological disorders and cardiovascular diseases and risk factors, which are higher in people with psoriasis.4,5,6

Afflicting people of all ages, psoriasis usually first appears in early adulthood and is lifelong. There are several types of psoriasis, from mild, which affects small areas of skin, to severe, which covers the entire surface of the skin. Not only does psoriasis cause physical and social discomfort, studies show that it can affect the quality of life of people living with the disease and their relatives.

The burden of living with psoriasis is often underestimated, and those with psoriasis have a higher risk of depression and anxiety than the average population. It can have a significant impact on a people’s quality of life.3 

Causes
The exact cause of psoriasis has not yet been determined; however it is thought to be related to a problem with the immune system. The immune system is your body’s defence against disease and infection, but for people with psoriasis, it attacks healthy skin cells by mistake.8

Treatment
An integrated approach to psoriasis care, addressing the chronic burden of disease on each individual’s life, is essential to relieve people living with the disease and reduce the use of healthcare resources.1

Psoriasis can be managed using topical treatment, which nowadays, come in a variety of formulations such as creams, ointments or gels, to meet each individual’s preferences.

Depending on the extension and severity of the disease, other treatment options are phototherapy with ultraviolet radiation or systemic therapy (e.g. tablets) and biologic treatments (via injections) are also available to treat psoriasis.
 

1. World Health Organization. Global report on psoriasis. Available at: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/204417/1/9789241565189_eng.pdf. [Accessed June 2017]
2. The International Federation of Psoriasis Associations. World Psoriasis Day. Available from: https://ifpa-pso.com/our-actions/world-psoriasis-day/ [Accessed July 2017]
3. Strober B, et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016; 75:77–81
4. Reich K. Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012; 26(2):3-11
5. Kimball AB, et al. Br J Dermatol. 2014;171(1):137-147
6. Feldman S, et al. J Man Care and Specialty Pharm. 2015;21(10):874-888
7. Dalgard et al, JID. 2015
8. NHS Choices. Psoriasis. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Psoriasis/Pages/Introduction.aspx.
[Accessed June 2017]

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