Women’s Health and Psoriasis
Living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (i.e., psoriatic disease) can be challenging for many people, including for those who experience mild symptoms. People also experience and cope with health and illness differently depending on personal and social factors. Generally, for many reasons, women with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can experience and perceive things like self-image, mental health, stigma (negative stereotypes) and treatment decisions differently than people with other gender identities.
Based on a survey of over 100 women-identified people in Canada with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, this resource addresses some common questions and considerations for living with these conditions as a woman. This resource explores the following:
- MIND: What does the research say about some common concerns and experiences of women with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis?
- BODY: What are some of the unique treatment considerations for women living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis?
- SPIRIT: What are some considerations for living well with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis as a woman?
Overall, the survey results highlight what we already know – that there is no single experience of psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis.
While some women reported severe negative effects on their self-image and overall well-being, a few indicated that they never had these types of issues. While most women reported that help from health care team members, family and friends and online resources were very useful to them, others shared that they didn’t use external resources as a form of support. The effects of psoriasis that different women experienced could be attributed in part to different disease severity/location as well as other personal and social factors.
What we heard strongly is that respondents were interested in sharing with and learning from other women with these conditions. It was also clear that the majority have, to some degree or other, experienced some effects on their social, emotional and mental well-being at some point(s) throughout their condition.
Most importantly, the survey responses conveyed strength, positivity and self-acceptance. This guide strives to help girls and women continue to have the information and support they need to live well with psoriatic disease.
Click each heading below for additional information.
If you are a woman who is considering getting pregnant, is currently pregnant or is breastfeeding, or considering it, these are all considerations that need to be taken into account when contemplating treatment options.
Women who responded to CPN’s survey recognized dermatologists, social support from family and friends and their own strength and internal coping mechanisms as the main resources that significantly helped them with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.