The dry, scaly, and painful patches of skin typical of psoriasis afflict nearly 7.5 million Americans. This uncomfortable, chronic skin condition is most likely to develop on the joints, face, neck, trunk, arms, hands, feet, and scalp. Although a cure remains elusive, treatments are available to manage the symptoms.
At first glance, some might assume that psoriasis is a minor dermatology-related health concern or perhaps even consider it a low priority. However, this disease can have a major impact on quality of life. In addition, nearly one-third of those with the skin ailment of psoriasis go on to develop psoriatic arthritis which adds to the quality of life challenges for patients.
In psoriasis, the immune system creates havoc when skin cells mature too quickly (in days rather than weeks), which leaves the body with layers of excess skin piled on the skin’s surface in itchy and uncomfortable patches. There is a genetic component to the disease; while stress, infections, certain medications, and sunlight can also contribute.
And now here’s where things can get very serious with psoriasis. A new report that reviewed information from 330,207 patients with psoriasis (and even more people without the disease) finds that those with psoriasis are more likely to consider suicide than those without this skin condition. This increased risk of suicidal ideation also came with an increased risk of attempted and/or completed suicide. Those at younger ages were at the greatest risk. There was also a correlation with disease severity.
For this – and many other reasons, including it’s our mission to care for the specialty pharmacy medication needs of patients – our company takes psoriasis treatment seriously. BioPlus cares for psoriasis patients and aims to meet the medication needs of those with psoriasis. Even though it’s not technically a life-threatening disease, treating it can end up saving a life.
Richardson B. Meta-analysis ties psoriasis to suicide risk. Univadis August 18, 2017.