A great number of psoriasis patients go untreated with an average diagnosis time of five years according to a new study conducted by the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

The Problem—Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common, noncommunicable skin disease with at least 100 million individuals affected worldwide. The cause of psoriasis is currently unknown, but research shows that the immune system and genetics play a major part in the development of the condition.

Research Background

Spink Health and Technical University of Munich investigator Maximilian Schielein recently presented their research at the 28th EADV Congress.

The Study

The investigators analyzed 650 psoriasis patients in Germany and identified major gaps in the provision of psoriasis care and how the disease impacts daily patient life.

Over half of patients (56%) with more than 20% of body surface area being covered by psoriasis expressed that they are not currently visiting a physician to help with the treatment of their condition, indicating that doctors invest too little time into patients, are not interested in the disease and are not well informed. Half of those prescribed drugs communicated that they do not help treat their condition (49%) or have too many side effects (29%).

Almost 9 out of ten of the patients in the study suffered from plaques (patches of rough, red skin that are caused by skin cells reproducing too quickly), with the head and elbows being the most commonly affected areas. The condition is reported to have greater severity and greater impact on quality of life measures when it affects the anal and genital regions.

An additional anxiety study presented at the 28th EADV Congress revealed that over 77% of acute stage psoriasis patients had anxiety disorders, compared to 19% of the general population.

The Lead Research/Investigator

Maximilian Schielein of Tehchnical University of Munich reported that “Despite psoriasis being a well-known disease, a striking proportion of patients remain undertreated.” He continues, saying, “Taking more time and finding an appropriate treatment for unsatisfied patients must be addressed to fulfil their needs. In addition, we must not neglect the patients who are dissatisfied with their current treatment and have given up seeking professional help. Reaching out to these patients is essential and healthcare professionals have a duty of care to ensure that everyone with psoriasis receives optimal care.”

Call to Action: If you have symptoms that appear to be close to psoriasis, see your dermatologist to ensure you are doing all that you need to treat it correctly.

Source: EurekAlert!

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