Don't let Psoriasis have a negative impact on your life
(NC) -- Brooks Harvey knows first-hand the impact psoriasis has on the lives of the 1 million Canadians with the skin disorder that causes disfiguring red, scaly and itchy rashes.1
“I was only eight years old. On top of all the challenges a young child faces growing up, I was also saddled with this incurable condition,” he says. “I struggled for many years with my confidence and disengaging from society to hide my psoriasis.”
Brooks says he is not hiding any longer. Now president of the Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients (CAPP), a resource group for Canadians with psoriasis he says he finds strength in speaking about psoriasis.
Unfortunately, he is not alone in having experienced this negative impact on his life from psoriasis, a non-contagious inflammatory skin disorder related to a problem with the immune system.
In a recently published major international survey of more than 3,400 people with psoriasis,2 including Canadians, 22 per cent of patients reported that the disease significantly impacted their daily life.3 In fact, some cases can see sufferers troubled by more serious complications including infection, pneumonia and congestive heart failure. Up to 30 per cent of patients will develop psoriatic arthritis, combining skin rashes with joint pain and swelling similar to rheumatoid arthritis.
The survey, however, reveals a troubling reality: almost half (47 per cent) of people with psoriasis hadn't seen a healthcare provider for their condition in the previous 12 months.2 This concerns dermatologist, Dr. Kim Papp.
“It is important to regularly check in with your dermatologist to ensure you are managing your psoriasis as well as possible. New treatment options may help in reducing symptoms and progression of the disease.”
It's helping other psoriasis patients that inspires Brooks Harvey and the association to continue their work. “CAPP exists for a single reason, to help psoriasis patients live a better life. This is what we're all about,” he says.
More information is available from your doctor or at www.canadianpsoriasis.ca.
1 National Psoriasis Foundation. “About Psoriasis: Statistics.” National Psoriasis Foundation. Accessed January 22, 2013. http://www.psoriasis.org/learn_statistics.
2 Lebwohl M, Bachelez H, Barker J, et al. “Patient perspectives in the management of psoriasis: Results from the population-based Multinational Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Survey.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2014.
3 Lebwohl M, Bachelez H, Barker J, et al. “Patient perspectives in the management of psoriasis: Results from the population-based Multinational Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Survey.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2014.