Psoriasis causing emotional impact says expert
Dubai, April 16, 2013
A significant percentage of people afflicted with psoriasis, a severe skin condition, suffer from the emotional impact of the disease, said a top dermatologist, at the ongoing Dubai Derma 2013 conference.
Dr Anwar Al Hammadi, chairperson of the conference and head of dermatology at Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said that because large patchy flakes and skin flare ups can be seen in patients with the disease, many of them are conscious of the disease and do not properly integrate themselves in society.
He said the DHA recently conducted a workshop for patients with psoriasis to educate them about the disease and reinforce the importance of carrying on with day-to-day activities including sports etc.
According to the American hospital Johns Hopkins, “Psoriasis is a persistent skin disorder characterized by patches of raised, red bumps covered with white, flaking scales. It generally develops on the scalp, knees, or elbows, although it may affect any area of the skin. The production of skin cells at affected sites is accelerated, and the accumulation of excess cells causes scaly plaques. First attacks usually begin between the ages of 10 and 30.”
Dr Hammadi presented a paper at the conference on the importance of family, social and emotional support for patients with this skin disorder.
He also advocated awareness of the disease to reduce the problem of misdiagnosis and facilitate early diagnosis of the disease. “While psoriasis cannot be cured, its symptoms can be greatly controlled with provides relief for patients. However, early intervention is important for the management of the disease.”
He also said that people who are obese and have psoriasis, tend to have stronger symptoms of the disease and thus healthy eating and weight loss are important in the fight against the disease.
Al Hammadi added: “Latest research shows that psoriasis is a systematic disease which means that patients with the disease are at a higher risk of developing blood pressure, diabetes etc and regular health checks are important.”
He added that one to two percent of the population is affected by the disease. “If one parent has the disease, the chances of children developing it is 17 per cent, however if both parents have the disease, the chances are 42 per cent.”
He said that in 2012, out of 12,000 patient visits at the DHA dermatology centre, 966 patients had psoriasis. “1.2 per cent were new patients and 7.3 were follow up patients. In terms of UAE, we still are within the worldwide range in terms of prevalence of the disease; however, I would advocate awareness as a means to tackle this problem and early intervention for better patient outcomes.” – TradeArabia News Service