Psoriasis And Depression – Suffering That Is More Than Skin Deep

2009-12-04 | |
Last updated: 2009-12-04

While many diseases can be described as invisible because it is not evident from appearance that a person has such a condition, not all such disorders make themselves a strictly personal matter. People with autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes or even Multiple Sclerosis cannot be easily identified in many public circumstances as their disease is at war with their inner body and few, if any, scars are visible outside. With other conditions, like skin diseases, however, anonymity is sometimes not an option.

In the case of skin disease, the visible evidence of the condition can be apparent to the casual observer. As humans, our highly visual brains are constantly taking in subtle information about the world around us including the appearance of people with whom we interact. As a result, sufferers of conditions like psoriasis are often forced to live with the evidence of their condition being in plain sight.

How Many People Suffer From Psoriasis?

As a condition affecting anywhere from half a percent to 5% of the population depending on source of the statistics, psoriasis is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in the population. Having a genetic component, the most widespread form of the disease, called Plaque psoriasis, affects 80 to 90% of those with psoriasis and shows up as inflamed skin covered with shiny white scaly skin. It affects Caucasians roughly twice as frequently as African Americans and most people who develop the disease do so in the their 20s and 30s.

How Is Psoriasis Related To Depression?

Although quality of life for those with the disease can be affected by both discomfort and pain from the sensitivity of the skin inflammation, it is also the appearance of the skin and scalp that can make life difficult for those with psoriasis when interacting with others in society. Even though 67% of cases can be considered as mild because they cover less than 3% of the skin, a diagnosis of mild psoriasis may say little to the difficulties that an individual will face depending on the placement of that 3% of affected skin and activity of the disease.

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Category: Disease Information

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