Psoriasis and comorbidities a worldwide issue

July 15, 2014

The psychiatric comorbidities associated with psoriasis deserve more attention from physicians around the globe, experts say.

"I tried every topical medication. I tried peanut oil. Everything my dermatologist would give me and got no relief. It wasn’t until I got on the biologics that I pretty much cleared up almost instantly, within literally a few weeks. Then, I realized it was like a 9,000-pound weight on my shoulders.” - Brian Lafoy, 44, of Plano, Texas, diagnosed with psoriasis in his early 20s, tells his story on how the condition impacted his life.

   

The psychiatric comorbidities associated with psoriasis deserve more attention from physicians around the globe, experts say.

In a large population-based study published in the Archives of Dermatology, researchers reported people with psoriasis have increased risks of depression, anxiety and suicidality. They estimated that psoriasis in the United Kingdom is responsible for more than 10,400 diagnoses of depression, 7,100 diagnoses of anxiety and 350 diagnoses of suicidality (Kurd SK, Troxel AB, Crits-Christoph P, Gelfand JM. Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(8):891-895).

The authors, including researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, concluded it’s important for clinicians to evaluate psoriasis patients for these conditions to improve outcomes. They recommend future research focus on mechanisms by which psoriasis is associated with psychiatric outcomes, as well as how to prevent psychiatric comorbidities.

 

Next: Peer mentoring program supports struggling patients

 

 

NPF peer mentoring

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), www.psoriasis.org - a nonprofit foundation offering information, support, research, advocacy and more - now has a peer mentoring program that pairs psoriasis patients who are trained to mentor others with the disease with those who are newly diagnosed or struggling with psoriasis. The program, called the Psoriasis One to One peer mentor program, can be found at www.psoriasis.org or at http://www.psoriasis.org/newly-diagnosed/one-to-one/mentors/find-a-mentor.

The NPF holds “More than Skin Deep” events and webcasts for patients with psoriasis to educate consumers about the latest research, how to better control psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, manage stress and more (https://www.psoriasis.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=628)

Another good resource, according to clinical health psychologist Madelyn Petrow-Cohen, M.A., L.C.S.W., is Inspire.com, billed as a “safe” place where people can chat about different problems, including psoriasis. There’s a group called Talk Psoriasis; the group is connected with the NPF and can be found at https://www.inspire.com/search/?query=talk+psoriasis&submit.x=0&submit.y=0.

The Look Deeper campaign in the U.K. looks at the association between psoriasis and mental health: http://www.seepsoriasislookdeeper.co.uk/

In June 2014, the NPF launched a new project to improve diagnosis, care and treatment for people with psoriatic arthritis. The NPF Psoriatic Arthritis Project, at www.psoriasis.org/PsAProject, aims to give healthcare providers new tools to better serve patients. Among the areas of focus: to improve the understanding of psoriatic arthritis symptoms, disease management and impact on patient quality of life among healthcare providers, according to an NPF news release.

Read more:

More than skin deep

Psychosocial impact of psoriasis: The statistics

Psoriasis from the patient's perspective

Psoriasis stress response in vitro