Chennai: Though not a contagious or life threatening disease, psoriasis, a skin condition, has been found to be the cause of immense mental and physical stress for those affected by it. In a global survey titled ‘clear skin’, done on people with psoriasis, carried out by global research firm Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GFK), in association with Novartis, Tamil Nadu, Delhi Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Karnataka and Punjab were covered.
It was found that 84 per cent of people with moderate-to-severe psoriasis suffer discrimination and humiliation, while 18 per cent people with the same had been asked, at some point of time, if they are contagious. "It is very important for people to understand that psoriasis is a non - contagious disease, however, if not managed in time, can lead to other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, depression and even psoriatic arthritis," said Jawed Zia, Country president, Novartis.
"The ‘clear skin’ survey aims to increase awareness about psoriasis and the emotional stigma and ignorance associated with the disease. It highlights the need for a holistic approach in patient treatment, thus helping them to improve their quality of life," he added. Stating that the condition can lead to a fair amount of mental trauma for patients living with it, psychologist P. Nilam said, "There is a social stigma attached to the disease as many fear it is contagious. As a result of that, the patients are more often than not, isolated and looked down upon."
Public awareness of the disease condition is critical, as most people are unaware of such a condition. Increased awareness will help patients be treated as equals and will also make it possible for them to avail the best treatment facilities as well, she said.