October 29th marks International World Psoriasis Day – a day presented by the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) with the intention of raising awareness about psoriasis. Psoriasis is one of the ‘silent’ skin diseases many in Lebanon aren’t aware of. Often, even patients themselves do not take the disease seriously.
It is estimated that more than 76000 people in the Lebanon suffer from psoriasis and each year, 7000 additional people get the disease. Equally affecting both sexes, Psoriasis can appear at any age, although it usually strikes for the first time between the ages of 15 and 25.
Moreover the prevalence of all heart diseases in patients with psoriasis in the region has been estimated at 14.3%, compared with 11.3% for the entire UAE population, and as a result patients have a significantly increased heart disease risk solely as a result of having psoriasis. Psoriasis impairs patients’ physical and psychologic well-being, leading to reduced health-related quality of life and work productivity.
In support of Psoriasis education and awareness, an international survey was initiated on the www.psoriasisuncovered.com website; which was completed by over 10,800 patients to understand the impact of the disease on their lives:
- 14% of respondents pointed out that they had lost or quit their jobs because of their psoriasis and almost one-quarter (23%) said that psoriasis negatively affected their income. These effects were more common in those with severe disease.
- 21% of all respondents and 41% of those with severe disease reported they had cancelled five or more social engagements in the last year because of their psoriasis.
The survey also found approximate two-thirds of people felt that their disease had at least a moderate impact on their self-confidence.
Currently there is no cure but treatment can help manage the condition. Treatment may include topical agents, phototherapy or systemic medications taken orally or by injection or infusion.
The objective of the www.psoriasisuncovered.com and the Arabic language www.psoriasisuncovered-arabia.com is to create maximum awareness and education in the GCC and to provide facts on the impact of psoriasis on the lives of patients.