Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters

Coping with psoriasis

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6995.1673 (Published 24 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1673
  1. Andrew Y Finlay
  1. Senior lecturer in dermatology Department of Dermatology, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff CF4 4XN

    EDITOR,—Susan Weingarten's account of the realities and humiliations of having psoriasis provide a useful insight for anyone who cares for patients with skin disease.1 The particular aspects that Weingarten emphasises accord closely with the results of two recent national surveys that used a standard questionnaire, the psoriasis disability index. In 538 patients in the Netherlands one of the highest scoring questions related to having to wear different types or a different colour of clothes (H H Haisma et al, sixth international congress on dermatology and psychiatry, Amsterdam, 20-22 April 1995), and in Britain 70% of 369 patients stated that their psoriasis had interfered with sport, including swimming.2 Other high scoring questions related to having to take more baths, problems at the hairdressers, and problems caused by the treatment itself. Two fifths of patients answered that over the past month they had either smoked more or drunk more alcohol because of their psoriasis—echoing Weingarten's mother's comments. It is important for dermatology staff to discuss these effects of psoriasis with their patients and hence to formulate practical strategies to alleviate these problems.

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