LAHORE    -   Psoriasis, a disease more than 125 million people are suffering from worldwide, drastically affects everyday lives of patients.

A Pakistan Psoriasis Foundation report states that in an analysis of survey data from 5,000 psoriasis patients, 20 percent of women said that psoriasis was a massive problem in their everyday lives, compared to 12 percent of men. In addition, approximately 60 percent of women said that psoriasis interferes with their ability to enjoy life, as compared to 52 percent of men. Overall, women have greater difficulty dealing with psychological and social issues brought about by psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease clinically evident as raised inflamed scaly red skin lesions that crack and itch. International Psoriasis Day is observed globally on 29th of October to increase the awareness of one of the most important skin problems.

“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 23.4% to 71% of children will have a family history of psoriasis,” said Prof Ijaz Hussain, chairman of the Department of Dermatology, King Edward Medical University/Mayo Hospital.

Psoriasis sufferers 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.

Health professional and the general public should not minimize its impact as skin disorders are often chronic but not life threatening but they severely affect the mental well-being of patients.

Psoriasis can also cause inflammation of the joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis. One third of psoriatic patients have psoriatic arthritis. The risk for diabetes mellitus rises substantially in patients with psoriasis, with a 62% 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. Skin problems are generally the most common diseases seen in primary care settings all over the globe and its prevalence ranges from 20-50% in developing countries.