Psoriasis Causes Depression, And Here's Why

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psoriasis_64Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that covers the entire body but appears most prominently on the elbows, knees, or back. During an outbreak, the skin erupts into a cluster of plaques, and even between the outbreaks - when it is considered dormant - one is never completely clear of it and a reddened discoloration of the skin is still visible.

Psoriasis frequently arises between the ages of 15 through 35 and the cause has yet to be identified, but while the genetic and immune issues of this autoimmune disease are often studied, less considered how emotionally disabling this condition can be. The New York University School of Medicine has reported that severe cases of psoriasis can often lead to depression.

Why? Human nature consists of judging others based on appearance and those who are unfamiliar with the disorder will hope it s not catching. And sometimes far worse scenarios are conjured up, leaving the afflicted embarrassed, misunderstood, and hopeless, especially if it is on the face.

Due to those factors, surveys show that approximately one third of those with this condition also experience some depression and anxiety; one in five reported that they were being rejected and stigmatized because of their condition, and one in 10 contemplated suicide. Roger S. Ho, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., and colleagues from NYU, looked at the relationship between psoriasis and major depression on a national scale. The researchers analyzed data from participants in the National health and Nutrition Examination Survey from (2009 2012), based on answers generated from a series of health questionnaires.

The findings consisted of 351 (2.8 percent) cases of psoriasis and 968 (7.8 percent) cases of major depression, distributed among 12, 382 U.S. residents. There were 58 (16.5 percent) patients with psoriasis that identified with major depression signifiers. The average patient questionnaire score was higher among patients with a history of psoriasis than those without the condition. Furthermore, patients with psoriasis (23.6 percent) stated that symptoms of depression cause functional impairment, as opposed to the patients without the condition (15.4 percent), who did not state the same complaint.

What about the future? There is no known cure for psoriasis, but there are many treatments available, such as UV light therapy, immunosuppressant cyclosporine, and oral or injected medications that can help in reducing the production of skin cells in the body.