International Psoriasis Day is observed globally on October 29 (today) to raise awareness on one of the most important skin problems. Psoriasis drastically affects everyday lives of patients as it victimizes more than 125 million people worldwide.
Head, Department Dermatology, Lady Reading Hospital, Dr Sahibzada Mahmood Noor on Sunday said the number of psoriasis patients in Pakistan is 5,000.
He 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.
While sharing Pakistan Psoriasis Foundation report he said 5,000 psoriasis patients are registered in Pakistan. Dermatologist at Capital Hospital Dr. Uzma Ali said Psoriasis could also cause inflammation of joints, which is known as psoriatic arthritis.
Almost 10 to 15 percent 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.”
“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 are considered amongst one of the prevalent factors. It is said that psoriasis has a genetic basis, as 23.4pc to 71pc of children will have a family history of psoriasis,” she added.
Of that number, 20pc are women. He said the disease caused problems for the patients in their everyday life. Some 60pc women patients are of the view that they didn’t enjoy life fully because of this disease. Overall, women have greater difficulty dealing with the psychological and social issues brought about by having psoriasis.
He said that 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 wellbeing of patients. Psychologists who know the impact of the mental anxiety should come forward to help patients.