Dr Linda Stein Gold discusses the effect that plaque psoriasis in special areas can have on the quality of life of a patient.
Linda Stein Gold, MD: Yes, psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease, and it has really a tremendous impact on patients' overall quality of life. Unfortunately, our patients with psoriasis [must] see the world and…show their psoriasis with pretty much any encounter if their psoriasis is in a visible area. You know, if you think about it, if you have diabetes or high blood pressure or even cancer, you can walk into a room and you don't have to think about your medical issues. Yet if you have psoriasis, you walk into a room and, especially if you have psoriasis in a visible area like your scalp or your face or your hands, you really are judged by society. Our patients are judged because they have imperfect skin and this leads to anxiety and depression and increased suicidal ideation, and the psoriasis itself can be itchy, it can be painful. We know that patients who have an overall decrease in their quality of life have an effect on their overall productivity, they have work absenteeism, and the cost of just the treatment of the disease can be tremendous. And those patients who have psoriasis in sensitive areas, again, the scalp, the face, the palms, the soles, the nails, their impact on their overall quality of life is even more significant. So we have to keep that in mind, especially for those patients who might have psoriasis on limited body areas, but these areas have tremendous importance.
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