In the framework of the World Psoriasis Day, which this year’s theme is “Breaking Barriers” (http://www.worldpsoriasisday.com/), the International Federation of Psoriasis Association (IFPA) aims to raise awareness, fight prejudices and gain access to proper diagnosis for people with psoriasis. Almirall wants to join this purpose by launching ‘Not Today’, a story included in its project “Derma Stories”, which falls within the global “Shared Skin Initiative” campaign. The main aim of this scheme is to raise awareness of this dermatological conditions so that society can recognize the social and emotional impact this disease can cause in the quality of life of those patients and their families, as it affects more than 125 million people worldwide.
‘Not Today’ is the story of two young friends who are texting each other about going to a party for which they have both been preparing for months, however, one of the girls no longer feels like going to the party as she has a psoriasis outbreak.
Psoriasis can interfere with daily life and negatively impact social interaction and participation. Many psoriasis patients can become embarrassed about their condition and withdraw themselves from the outside world because of flaking, or scabs that may appear on their skin, alongside other symptoms. Furthermore, this illness has a high psychological cost because some of the worst effects of psoriasis are emotional: 91% of psoriasis patients suffer from low self-esteem issues and 54% suffer from depression.
According to a recent study conducted in the US, 98% of psoriasis patients reported that psoriasis impacted on their emotional life, 94% on their social life, 70% on family life, 68% on their professional career, 38% on physical functioning, 17% on sexual intimacy, and 21% on their educational life.
Many psoriasis sufferers state that their condition interferes with their capacity to enjoy life, demonstrating the extent to which psoriasis restricts quality of life. Other daily struggles faced by psoriasis patients include having to adapt clothing choices, bathing routine and sporting activities.
The lost opportunities and the burden from the disease over a significant portion of a lifetime can be cumulative and in many cases are irreversible. Furthermore, their inability to work due to psoriasis increases with psoriasis severity. Therefore, patients suffering from the severe form of the disease report a greater number of days absent from work or school.
In addition, psoriasis patients are frequently stigmatized and excluded from normal social environments, including schools, workplaces and swimming pools. As a result, they often avoid social activities and commonly report experiencing loneliness, isolation, feelings of being unattractive and frustration.