Chennai: Naresha 22-year-old man from Chennai, has been suffering from psoriasis for the past four years. Due to the progression of psoriasis, Naresh often felt embarrassed and self-conscious in social settings. The situation became worse when he was unable to interact with people due to the raised, itchy, dry and red patches on his skin. It was only when Naresh visited a dermatologist and began taking medication for it, the condition reduced.
Janani went through a painful pregnancy as her chronic psoriasis increased to cover 80 per cent of her body. She had to suffer for the entire term covered in painful sores.
Naresh and Janani are not alone. Psoriasis, a condition in which skin cells build up and form scales and itchy and dry patches are quite common. There are over 125 million people worldwide, who suffer psoriasis. The skin condition has a devastating impact on the quality of life of young people, according to a survey released by The Psoriasis Association. On the occasion of World Psoriasis Day, doctors in the city weigh in on the effect of the condition and how people should be sensitized to it.
The theme for World Psoriasis Day 2018 is “Treat Psoriasis Seriously”. “Psoriasis generally develops between 15 and 35 years of age and occurs when the immune system of the body attacks normal tissues in the body. This leads to swelling and quick turnover of skin cells,” a doctor in the city said.
Research indicates that 18 per cent of people with psoriasis have been asked if they are contagious. Over 36 per cent of people admitted to feeling ashamed of their skin and the way they look. Many psoriasis patients restrict themselves from human interactions, avoid social gatherings and prefer being within closed circles.
Research also shows that 30 per cent of psoriasis patients admitted that their past or current personal relationships were impacted by their disease. Majority of people with moderate-to-severe psoriasis complain of being subjected to discrimination, humiliation and being stared at in public. It is also observed that psoriasis patients often face discrimination at work. According to the findings of the ‘Clear About Psoriasis’ global survey, 48 per cent of patients said that psoriasis impacted their professional life. “Psoriasis is stigmatized as being contagious and people suffering with it often start staying aloof, choosing this behaviour as a coping mechanism. It is important to work with a dermatologist to find the right treatment that works for you and fits your lifestyle,” says Dr Maya Vedamurthy, Director, RSV Skin Clinic and Senior Consultant, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai....