People with Psoriasis are more likely to have depression than those without the common skin condition, according to a new research.
The researchers collected and analyzed data from more than 12,000 adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. About 3 % of the study subjects reported to have psoriasis and around 8 % of the participants had major depression based on their answers to a depression screening assessment.
The study revealed that about 16.5 % of patients with psoriasis met the criteria for major depression and the individuals with the skin disease were at twice the risk of mental illness than those without psoriasis. The experts believe that the connection between psoriasis and depression may be linked to the public’s stigmatization of psoriasis. The condition is highly visible on the skin, especially in the summer months when more skin is exposed.
“Psoriasis in general is a pretty visible disease,” said Dr. Roger Ho, lead researcher and professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. “Psoriasis patients are fearful of the public’s stigmatization of this visible disease and are worried about how people who are unfamiliar with the disease may perceive them or interact with them,” he added.
People with psoriasis need to be made aware of the depression risk and should consult a physician if they begin to experience any depressive symptoms. These individuals should also be encouraged to follow their treatment plans, as improving psoriasis symptoms may alleviate or prevent future depression symptoms.
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by red patches of skin covered with silvery-white scales. These patches most commonly appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, lumbosacral areas, intergluteal clefts and glans penis. It can occur in people of all ages, most commonly develops between the ages of 15 and 25.
More than 7 million people in the United States have psoriasis. Psoriatic arthritis is the most common complication and it affects up to 30 % of individuals with psoriasis. IMAGE/Medscape