The International Psoriasis Council (IPC) is partnering with the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) to call attention to the influence of psoriasis lesion locations on patients’ quality of life.
The joint effort presents a study that delves into how psoriasis in specific areas – scalp, face, hands/feet, and more profoundly affects patients’ well-being and social engagement.
The findings appear in the Journal of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis.
The paper, titled, “Psoriasis Involving Special Areas is Associated with Worse Quality of Life, Depression, and Limitations in the Ability to Participate in Social Roles and Activities,” shares the findings from three years of NPF surveys. Analysis showed that psoriasis in special locations had an outsized impact, both lowering the quality of life and impacting the patient’s ability to participate in social roles.
These results contribute data from patient’s own experiences to the conversation around how best to update current disease severity measures to include consideration for the location of the disease. Traditionally, the percentage of the body covered by psoriasis lesions was used to determine severity, but this study underscores the fact that psoriasis in certain areas (listed below) can greatly impact a person’s quality of life.
Of the more than 4,000 individuals who completed the survey, 84% shared that they had psoriasis in special locations. These patients were less likely to have the ability to participate in social roles and activities and were 126% more likely to have depression.
Special Locations for Psoriasis include:
- Flexures (areas where the skin folds, usually near joints)
“Examining psoriasis disease severity based less on the body surface area affected and more regarding the condition’s impact on quality of life and the patient’s personal and professional functionality allows providers to better target therapies, including systemics and biologics, towards their patients’ needs,” says Dr. Bruce Strober, IPC Vice President/President-Elect, in a news release.
“These findings support the idea that where psoriasis is located can be just as important as how much skin is impacted,” agrees Leah M. Howard, J.D., the President and CEO of NPF. “People with psoriasis on their palms or feet live with incredibly debilitating pain. And many in our community know the unfortunate reality of living with psoriasis in the skin folds and highly sensitive areas.”
Now, "we need to help prescribers and insurers recognize the importance of this newer approach so that patients are able to access the right treatment for their disease, says Andrew Blauvelt, M.D., MBA, the chair of the NPF Medical Board and IPC Board Member.