Too many people with psoriasis feel the psychological burden of a disease still experienced as a stigma: what to do
The skin is the mirror of the soul, they say. And then, when the skin suffers, it is evident that there can also be an impact on the psyche. In the case of psoriasis, a disease that affects about two and a half million people in Italy with extremely variable signs and symptoms, what matters most is not "hiding" and keeping in touch with the doctor, even using modern connection technologies.
This is the message that comes from the PsoPoint initiative, a digital platform that helps psoriasis patients to maintain an active dialogue with the specialist. In the coming months, "virtual" appointments are planned that can be booked through the website http://www.impattoinvisibile.it interested Italian citizens will have the opportunity to remotely get in touch with dermatologists associated with ADOI and SIDeMaST. The dermatologist, through an online video-consultation, will answer doubts and questions, will provide information on the pathology, any indications on the paths, advising, if necessary, to go to a center specialized in the treatment of psoriasis in their region.
A campaign to overcome the stigma
The initiative, born last year to ensure continuity of care even during the lockdown, has become a reference point for patients with psoriasis and, in the light of the success achieved and the appreciation shown by the participants and specialists, is proposed again with 12 national events that will be held from April to December.
The PsoPoint program was created as part of the "Visible Psoriasis. Invisible impact – We look beyond appearances ”. Surely it must be said that depression, anxiety, stress are the "invisible side" of psoriasis that still too often is not recognized quickly, paving the way for a dark mood, so much so that according to recent studies more than one in two patients with over 20% of the body affected by psoriasis declares that they are not being treated by a dermatologist because they are discouraged. And instead, the reaction must be exactly the opposite.
Action must be taken, because the psychological burden of psoriasis, with its baggage of shame, stigma and social isolation, negatively affects the quality of life and the quality of care for patients. Being informed about the various aspects of psoriasis, the opportunities for treatment and the importance of the doctor-patient relationship is an important step in managing it.
“Because of the sense of shame and inadequacy, the patient isolates himself, closes himself at home with a negative effect on the quality of life and a worsening of the psoriasis itself – underlines Mara Maccarone, President of ADIPSO. In addition to information, it is essential to be able to contact a specialist immediately because it means getting treated first. In this sense, the PsoPoint platform has actively contributed to putting patients in contact with specialists in the area. It is a first step to help the hesitant and suspicious patient, who thinks that the disease cannot be treated, to speak to a specialist and, if necessary, be referred to a reference center for psoriasis ".
To each his own care
"Psoriasis is an extremely heterogeneous disease from a clinical point of view and can manifest itself in different forms and severities, so each patient is a case in itself – points out – Ketty Peris, President of SIDeMaST, Full Professor of Dermatology and UOC Director of Dermatology at the Catholic University “A. Gemelli” University Hospital Foundation, IRCCS Rome.
In the most severe forms it can be associated with other pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypercholesterolemia, obesity and moreover, it is often associated with a set of disorders of the psychic sphere, "invisible" each psoriatic patient is a case in itself.
Precisely for this reason there are specific assistance paths that the dermatologist specialist recommends according to the clinical case, so that the patient can be followed and treated in an optimal way ". For this reason, a constant dialogue with the dermatologist – also through digital channels – is essential not only to improve the treatment path and the quality of life of patients, but also to address the psychological implications that are often underestimated.
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Tag: Anxiety Depression Psoriasis