Psoriasis (Pso) is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease, and its effects can go far beyond skin. As well as causing pain, discomfort, itching and resulting insomnia, it can also make sufferers feel very unhappy. A study comparing psoriasis to other prominent conditions found its mental and physical impact comparable to that seen in cancer, heart disease and depression – 37% of people with Pso have experienced suicidal thoughts. Perhaps this is partly because many face social exclusion and discrimination because of their condition. If you have Pso and are feeling low, whether or not this is because your symptoms aren’t under control, please speak to your doctor so that your physical or mental health, or both, can be treated.
If your doctor has already diagnosed you with plaque psoriasis, part of learning about your condition is understanding how severely your body surface is affected. Wondering how much of your body surface is affected by your Pso?12 To work it out, use one hand as a guide – it represents roughly 1% of the total body area.12 So, if you think the plaques on your body cover the equivalent of 5 hands, that equals 5% of your body. But remember, even if your Pso doesn’t affect much of your body surface, it may still be considered severe if the parts it does affect are very inflamed or feel very thick or scaly, or if it has a big impact on your quality of life.1215
If you are experiencing symptoms, or don’t feel that your treatment is controlling your Pso, please speak to your healthcare professional.16 Take a look at our helpful tips to help you have a productive conversation during your next appointment.