Most cases of psoriasis can be controlled, and most people who have psoriasis can live normal lives.
Some people who have psoriasis are so self-conscious and embarrassed about their appearance that they become depressed and withdrawn. Psoriasis is often more emotionally disabling than physically harmful. Nursing focus is on helping the individual adapt to the chronic relapsing nature of the disease. These individuals are at increased risk for alterations in body image and should be referred for counselling if body image is affected. Support groups and stress-reduction programs can be helpful. Instruction is needed to prevent mechanical injury to skin, and to reinforce the fact that lesions are not communicable. Patients suffering from psoriasis may also suffer from arthritis of various type, and also accelerated atherosclerosis (i.e. heart diseases).
Psoriasis is often associate with other conditions, many of which are linked to chronic inflammation in the body, such as diseases of the heart and arteries, digestive problems or psoriatic arthritis.
About 10-15% of patients with psoriasis develop a complication called psoriatic arthritis. This type of arthritis can be slow to develop and mild, or it can develop rapidly. Psoriatic Arthritis involves joint and connective tissue inflammation. Psoriatic arthritis can affect any joint, but is most common in the joints of the fingers and toes. This can result in a sausage-shaped swelling of the fingers and toes known as dactylitis. Psoriatic arthritis can also affect the hips, knees and spine (spondylitis). About 10–15% of people who have psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis.
If you feel that one of the following conditions apply to you, talk to your skin professional:
- Cardiovascular disease (Disease of the heart and blood vessels)
- Metabolic syndrome (Obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, elevated insulin levels and diabetes)
- Digestive disorders (celiac disease or an inflammatory bowel disease)