Impact of psoriasis on quality of life
Psoriasis can have a huge impact on your quality of life in general and on how you feel in your relationships, work, and school. In fact, its impact on physical and mental function is similar to that of other chronic and serious conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, and arthritis.
In one study, 3 out of every 4 people with psoriasis felt that their condition had a negative impact on their quality of life. Since psoriasis and its skin lesions are visible to others, you might feel stress or some degree of social stigma, or even have poor self-esteem.
The emotional impact of psoriasis may lead to feelings of helplessness, embarrassment, anger, frustration, and self-consciousness. The Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) is a validated tool that is used by dermatologists for assessing the impact of skin conditions on your quality of life. It is one of the tools that the doctor may use to assess how well your condition is responding to treatment. The dermatologist can use this tool together with other validated tools to determine the severity of your psoriasis and create an individualized treatment plan that provides the best result, the fewest side effects, and the most satisfaction for your needs.
The good news is that psoriasis can be effectively treated and managed. Treating psoriasis can help improve your quality of life. Read more about psoriasis treatments and talk to your doctor about what you can do.
Effective psoriasis treatment varies from person to person. Finding the right choice for yourself may take several tries and will require close collaboration between you and your doctors and nurse practitioners. Various treatment options can have different advantages and disadvantages; the best choice will maximize the benefit while minimizing the risks. You should also consider the impact of the treatment on your quality of life.
Take steps now to improve your life with psoriasis:
- Assess its impact on your life. How is psoriasis affecting your quality of life? Take the Psoriasis Questionnaire to find out.
- Learn more about the condition. Knowledge is power when it comes to a lifelong condition like psoriasis. Read up on the types of psoriasis, understand the severity of your symptoms, research medication and treatment options, or plan the questions you will ask your doctor.
- Continuously work with your dermatologist and nurse practitioners. Keeping track of how you're doing with the treatment is an important part in managing psoriasis. It may take several tries to find the right option for you – make sure you keep up with your psoriasis.
- Find the most satisfactory treatment option. Be proactive and speak to your doctor or nurse practitioner about how your condition is managed. Don't settle for anything less than the treatment option that is most effective and convenient for you.
- Find things that help you relax. Meditation, writing, and smiling and laughing are great ways to help cope with stress. Read more about living well with psoriasis
- Get active. Physical activity can help you feel better and healthier.
- Know that you are not alone. Community support groups and online forums can provide information and encouragement from those who are living with psoriasis. Did you know that many celebrities also have psoriasis? To start with, watch this video about a patient and his experience with psoriasis.
Psoriasis and your relationships
People with psoriasis report that their condition severely disrupts their day-to-day interactions with family, friends, and co-workers. While life with psoriasis can be a challenge, you don't have to let it stop you from building and strengthening your relationships with the people you care about.
Here are some tips for maintaining healthy relationships while living with psoriasis:
- Build a support network. When you're living with a condition like psoriasis, you need to have a few people you can depend on through thick and thin – whether your skin is clear or you're having a flare-up. Develop a network of contacts who can give you an emotional boost when you need it. This might mean turning to family, close friends, counsellors, health care professionals, or people you've met in the psoriasis community.
- Be honest. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to close relationships. Tell your friends and family when you need help and be open about how your psoriasis makes you feel – emotionally and physically. Sharing your feelings will help strengthen the relationship.
- Talk to people about psoriasis. When you educate others, they learn to accept and understand your condition and what you must do to live with it.
You can still have fulfilling and rewarding relationships with psoriasis; don't be fazed by the condition. There are various strategies that you can employ to keep living well with psoriasis.
If you find you're having trouble balancing your relationships with managing your psoriasis, talk to your doctor for advice on how to cope.