When it comes to a chronic disease like psoriasis, your relationship with your doctor is important. However, during your consultations it can be difficult at times to discuss all you need about your disease in the short time you have together.
Psoriasis can have many invisible impacts, which vary a lot from person to person. Physical factors like where psoriasis is on your body, coupled with social factors like your job, lifestyle and hobbies all come together to create an impact that is specific to you.
In this website, you will find information to help you understand all the ways that psoriasis can affect you and prepare for your next visit with your doctor. The information provided here can ensure that you can communicate everything that matters to you about your psoriasis effectively, and maximise the time you have with your doctor.
The PSORIASIS IMPACTS MATTER guide is a tool, available on this website, that provides you with a step-by-step guide on how to better communicate with your doctor during consultations—to help you both work toward managing your psoriasis and help you live your life as fully as possible.
The site also contains materials to help you better understand your psoriasis:
Psoriasis is more than a disease of the skin, and symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another.1 Being aware of how your psoriasis affects you is the first step to managing your condition well.
Psoriasis is caused when your immune system becomes more active than normal, causing inflammation.
Because psoriasis is long-lasting, it requires continuous management. Symptoms may disappear for a while, but they are likely to reappear if not managed properly.1,2
When you have psoriasis, you may be at a higher risk of developing other long-lasting conditions. Tell your doctor if you suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, or joint pain, as they might be related to your psoriasis. Your doctor will check your health regularly and will adjust your treatment plan to meet your needs.1,3
When you speak with your doctor, or any member of your healthcare team, it is important to discuss anything going on in your day-to-day life that is negatively impacted by your psoriasis. There are many effects of psoriasis that cannot be seen, but could affect how your doctor decides on your treatment. Talk to your doctor about all the ways that psoriasis impacts your life.
As a person living with the chronic condition that is psoriasis, you know your body better than anyone else.
It is important to be aware of all the aspects of psoriasis. Start by answering the 3 questions below:
How does psoriasis feel?
Jot down how you would describe your condition: painful, embarrassing, stressful, draining, limiting, stops me from pursuing activities that I enjoy, stops me from dating or having intimate relationships, etc.
Where is your psoriasis located?
Sometimes it’s difficult for your doctor to see all the affected areas on your body, so be sure to be explicit about where plaques have occurred. Use the diagram in PSORIASIS IMPACTS MATTER to label the affected areas of your body and bring it to your next visit.
What aspects of psoriasis bother you the most?
Is it physical symptoms, like itch or difficulty sleeping? Are you unable to pursue activities you enjoy, like swimming or going to the beach? Is dating or intimacy particularly challenging? Are the emotional effects most challenging, like feeling alone or helpless?
It’s important to let your dermatologist know all the ways in which psoriasis is impacting you.
Psoriasis can affect any part of the body, and each part affected can create a different impact on quality of life. A few special areas and symptoms that people with psoriasis often struggle with include psoriasis on their scalp, nails, genital area, face, hands, and feet as well as itch. Click on the tiles below to watch short animations exploring the specific impacts of each of these.
The most common form of psoriasis, skin plaques are a buildup of cells on the surface of your skin that can appear as red, raised patches with a silvery white layer on top.4 They can be painful and/or itchy and can have a significant impact on life from a mental, emotional and social perspective.4,5
Being very common in psoriasis, the itching feeling has been described as a burning sensation or being bitten by insects. Itch is typically triggered by stress and has been shown to have a significant impact on sleep and quality of life.6
Can range from mild (fine scaling) on portions of your scalp to severe (thick, crusted plaques) that cover most of it. It can occur beyond your hairline to your forehead, the back of your neck or behind your ears. Though it covers a small part of your body, it can have a big impact on your overall well-being.7
Many patients with psoriasis develop nail psoriasis, which can appear as tiny dents in your nails known as nail pits, discoloration (yellow or brown), nails separating from your skin, buildup or blood under your nail, and/or crumbling nails. It can affect tasks that you do with your hands and may be a sign of psoriatic arthritis, so it is important to tell your doctor if you begin to see any of the symptoms mentioned above.8,9
Affects many patients with psoriasis and can appear as plaque psoriasis (scaling, crusted plaques) or inverse psoriasis (red, smooth skin) on or above your genitals, upper thighs and creases near your buttocks and genitals. It can impact physical and/or sexual activity, personal relationships and emotional well-being, so it is important that you discuss it with your doctor.10
Occurring on parts of your body that are used frequently, psoriasis on your hands and/or feet can be very painful and have a significant impact on daily life, even compared with patients who have more severe symptoms. It may also be referred to as palmoplantar psoriasis by your doctor, and typical symptoms include scaling, redness, itch and pain.9
Around 20% of people with psoriasis also develop a condition called psoriatic arthritis9. Psoriatic arthritis is a diverse and complex disease, affecting each person differently.10,11 Amgen’s Six Domains website provides more information on the six different manifestations or ‘domains’ that have been identified and people might experience. Results from the ‘What’s Your Combination?’ questionnaire, featured on the Six Domains site, have shown up to 57 various combinations of these domains, with 1 in 5 people experiencing all six. Find out more about the six domains of psoriatic arthritis, the ways it can impact your day-to-day life and how it can be managed by visiting Six Domains.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE IMPACTS OF PSORIASIS
Your doctor isn’t the only one who can support you with psoriasis, discovering more about the condition from other people living with psoriasis, and having open conversations with the important people in your life will help you work together to overcome major barriers. Below are some resources that can help you learn more about psoriasis and share the burden.
PSORIASIS AND YOU
Find out more about psoriasis and the ways that it can affect you physically, mentally and socially, with insights from psoriasis specialists and others living with the disease.
The path to finding the treatment approach that works for you may contain a few different steps, and it is good to be informed before you go to your appointment. This booklet gives you an overview of treatments for psoriasis, and the different medical professionals you may come into contact with.
Other patients are an invaluable source of insight and advice on the best ways to manage the challenges created by psoriasis. This booklet contains insights and advice from other patients and patient advocates on the things they have found the most helpful for managing their disease.
SUPPORTING PSORIASIS TOGETHER
Psoriasis is a complex condition that can affect many aspects of a person’s life, including their relationships with colleagues, friends and family. The Supporting Psoriasis Together booklet has been created in multiple languages to shine a spotlight on some of the ways that psoriasis can get in the way of these relationships and provide support to open avenues of communication to help everyone work together to support people living with psoriasis. Please click one of the flags below to download the booklet in your preferred language.
References: 1. National Psoriasis Foundation. Patient navigation center: plaque psoriasis. October 2017. https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/
plaque_fact_sheet.pdf Accessed July 17, 2021. 2. National Psoriasis Foundation. Patient navigation center: psoriasis. October 2017. https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/
psoriasis_fact_sheet_0.pdf Accessed July 17 2021. 3. National Psoriasis Foundation. T2T Infographic. https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/
t2t_infographic.pdf Accessed July 17, 2021. 4. National Psoriasis Foundation. About Psoriasis. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis Accessed July 17, 2021. 5. National Psoriasis Foundation. Life with Psoriasis. https://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis Accessed July 17, 2021. 6. National Psoriasis Foundation. Understanding the Itch. https://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis/understanding-the-itch Accessed July, 2021. 7. National Psoriasis Foundation. Scalp Psoriasis Quick Guide. https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/scalp_psoriasis_quick_guide.pdf Accessed July 17, 2021. 8. National Psoriasis Foundation. Managing Nail Psoriasis. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/specific-locations/hands-feet-nails/managing-nail-psoriasis Accessed July 17, 2021. 9. Kavanaugh A, Helliwell P, Ritchlin CT. Psoriatic arthritis and burden of disease: patient perspectives from the population-based Multinational Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (MAPP) survey. Rheumatol Ther. 2016;3:91-102. 10. National Psoriasis Foundation. When psoriatic disease strikes the hands and feet. https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/
Accessed April 23, 2020. 10. National Psoriasis Foundation. Genital Psoriasis Guide. https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/
Accessed July 17, 2021.