A while back I was asked to contribute to a psoriasis campaign in the form of writing a chapter for an e-book. I wrote a piece in the style of a letter to Psoriasis and after some gentle persuasion, my Wife agreed to write also to show the other side of psoriasis, living with someone who has the condition. It has been a great journey seeing the e-book coming together and was a delight to see some good friends contributing also, people I often have a grumble with about this condition. The best way to really introduce this though is through the official press release which I have pasted below:
IT’S NOT JUST SKIN DEEP
New research reveals the complexities and emotions associated with psoriasis
With three per cent of the nation (1.8 million1) affected by psoriasis, the chronic inflammatory skin disease, why does it continue to remain a relatively forgotten and often misunderstood condition, so much more so than its well-known ‘cousin’ eczema?
New research from Exorex (Forest Laboratories UK Ltd), to mark the launch of its Everyday Psoriasis campaign, has revealed the realities of what it is like to live with psoriasis, a condition that despite its severity varying from person to person, impacts beyond being just skin deep.
With 40 per cent of sufferers surveyed admitting to feeling embarrassed, a fifth (22 per cent) depressed and an alarming seven per cent going so far as to say it makes them feel suicidal, the impact the condition has on a person both mentally and emotionally should not be underestimated.
It seems that general misconceptions about the condition may be partly to blame for the emotional impact psoriasis has on the sufferer:
- A quarter (27 per cent) cite they have experienced someone treating them differently because of their skin
- 40 per cent say people have looked repelled by the sight of their psoriasis
- Four in ten (40 per cent) claim they are often not looked in the eye.
- A quarter (23 per cent) state they have been completely ignored at some point
Perhaps it’s these reactions that lead psoriasis sufferers to admit they face certain barriers when it comes to everyday things that many wouldn’t give a second’s thought. 16 per cent avoid going on a date, while one in six (15 per cent) will not go on holiday in fear of having to bare all.
Almost a fifth (17 per cent) claim that psoriasis has held them back in their job, with more than half (52 per cent) feeling that co-workers act as if there is something wrong with them because of the way they look. Sadly, one in five (21 per cent) state they feel no colleagues want to work with them.
These feelings are not just limited to the workplace. A quarter (25 per cent) claim that the condition affects their ability to form romantic relationships, pinpointing psoriasis as the key reason behind a relationship breakdown. A third (31 per cent) say their partner was unable to cope when they went through a ‘low’ patch, while 38 per cent had felt their partner found them unattractive as a result of the condition.
Kate Shapland, The Telegraph Magazine’s Beauty Editor has lived with psoriasis for two decades, she comments: “As anyone who has it knows, psoriasis is a fickle companion. There are days when you feel truly rotten about having it, and days when you are much more philosophical and accepting. You know you are managing it well when you feel the latter more often than the former, to the point where psoriasis is a much smaller part of your life and no longer governing it.”
Despite a third (33 per cent) freely admitting they would feel much happier if their psoriasis suddenly disappeared, one in 10 state that they are determined to combat psoriasis and live a normal life.
You can download the book at www.exorex.co.uk/ebook
Please read, please share and spread the word. This really is a condition that is often forgotten or dismissed us unimportant. We need more awareness and understanding not just to help combat the condition and find a cure, also to help the 1.3 million people who suffer from psoriasis.
I have to save a few words of thanks. Firstly to 3 Monkeys Communications Ltd, especially Sophie, for putting the book together. Also to Exorex for helping to raise awareness via this e-book and last but not least to the amazing Benjamin Eagle who made us look so good in the photos.