Psoriasis campaign offers support to sufferers

A NATIONWIDE campaign has been launched to support 100,000 psoriasis sufferers in Ireland who live with the debilitating skin condition.

The Psoriasis Association of Ireland set up a website to raise awareness of the chronic auto-immune disorder and the debilitating effects it can have on patients. The site — psoriasisuncovered.ie) — which features an online survey so specialists can get a better understanding of the condition and study international trends — is at the heart of its campaign to mark World Psoriasis Day.

A national convention on the skin disorder will also be held this Saturday in the Mont Clare Hotel, Merrion Square, Dublin.

Caroline Irwin, chair of the Psoriasis Association of Ireland, said feedback from the survey would be used to lobby government for treatment funding.

“Psoriasis, if not adequately treated, can significantly and permanently alter the trajectory of people’s lives — derailing careers, relationships and educational opportunities, and severely altering people’s outlooks on their lives,” said Ms Irwin.

“We hope people will participate in the survey, because providing more information to those living with psoriasis and the general public will help us improve the understanding — and ultimately the management — of psoriasis.”

Psoriasis usually first appears in people between the ages of 15 and 35 years. Although lesions can develop anywhere on the skin, they are most common on the scalp, knees, elbows, lower back, hands and feet.

Many patients suffer from poor self-image or depression and — in severe cases — it may be associated with metabolic diseases, obesity, cardiovascular disease and an increased risk of premature death.

Dermatologist Professor Sarah Rogers said psoriasis affects quality of life too.

“In recent times, the treatment possibilities available for patients with moderate to severe disease have increased greatly,” she added.

“With this in mind, if you have psoriasis it could be worth seeking a consultation with a dermatologist to discuss these options.”


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