The Misunderstood Physical Impact of Plaque Psoriasis



Melodie S. Young, MSN, A/GNP-C: Welcome to this HCPLive® Peers & Perspectives® presentation titled “Optimal Management of Plaque Psoriasis: Expert Nurse Practitioner Perspectives.” I’m Melodie Young. I’m a nurse practitioner at Mindful Dermatology in Dallas, Texas, and I’m part of the Modern Research Associates clinical trials company in Dallas. I’m joined today by a dear friend and colleague, Lakshi Aldredge. She is also a nurse practitioner, and she practices in the dermatology service at the VA [US Department of Veterans Affairs] Portland Health Care System in Portland, Oregon.

Our discussion today focuses on the role of nurse practitioners in patient care and improving outcomes of plaque psoriasis. We shall also discuss the safety and efficacy of available treatment options. Welcome Lakshi, how are you?

Lakshi M. Aldredge, MSN, ANP-BC, DCNP: I’m great, Mel. Thank you so much for having me. I’m delighted to be doing this with you.

Melodie S. Young, MSN, A/GNP-C: We’re going to talk, first of all, about an overview of the impact of psoriasis. We’re talking about plaque psoriasis, but we’re going to speak about it in general as a disease state and the impact it can have on patients, their caregivers, and their families. We know that it doesn’t just impact a patient, it impacts the entire family unit. As far as the physical aspect of psoriasis, in your practice, how do you see the physical impact of this disease affecting your patients?

Lakshi M. Aldredge, MSN, ANP-BC, DCNP: It’s a huge burden, our initial understanding of it many decades ago was that this was simply a skin disease: you had some dry skin. In fact, it’s often misunderstood, misclassified, or diagnosed as eczema or a dry skin disorder. Patients are told that they need to moisturize and live with it. Our understanding has come along so far, especially in the last 20 to 30 years, in understanding that this is much more than just a skin disorder. This is an autoimmune condition that not only affects the skin, but it can affect every single organ of the body. We know it affects every race, every age group, and all genders. Everybody can be affected by psoriasis; there is no group that escapes its wrath.

I’m from Sri Lanka, and we have leprosy there. I call psoriasis a modern-day leprosy because it’s a disease that we don’t have a cure for and because of the physical aspect of it. This is an autoimmune condition that we wear on the outside of our skin that is visible to the world. Not only does it impact them physically with itching and burning, but there is also an emotional, psychosocial impact from wearing their disease for the world to see, especially for young individuals, but it can affect everybody psychologically as well. Plaque psoriasis is the most common form. You typically see it on the elbows, knees, and the scalp, but people can be covered from head to toe.

Transcript Edited for Clarity

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