There are 1.3 million people in the UK living with psoriasis, but the vast majority (84%) feel there is a lack of public awareness around the condition.
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that can cause red, flaky, crusty patches of skin that are sometimes covered in silvery scales. As well as causing physical symptoms, psoriasis can lead to psychological distress and feelings of social isolation.
The first World Psoriasis Happiness Report shows the UK ranks third from bottom based on wellbeing responses from more than 120,00 people living with psoriasis across 184 countries.
A total of 48% of all people living with psoriasis in the UK are lonely, compared to 33% living with psoriasis globally. Around 40% of women and 39% of men in the UK feel isolated due to psoriasis, compared to the global averages of 26% and 21% respectively.
To mark World Psoriasis Day, we asked people with psoriasis what they want others to know.
“The impact the condition has on your mental wellbeing is often overlooked.”
Pete, 32, began suffering from psoriasis at the age of eight.
“I suffer with psoriasis on my face, scalp, ears, back, legs, knees, arms and elbows so hiding it from public view is at most times impossible.
“I often find myself being very self-conscious, covering my skin to avoid awkward looks from the scars left by the condition, which are a permanent reminder that this autoimmune disease will be with me for life.
“As we move into cooler months my anxiety levels go through the roof as I know it’s the time of the year where my psoriasis will flare up and be at its worse, the plaques will worsen and be more visible and the itch can cause me to have multiple nights without sleep.
“Psoriasis has been part of my life from about the age of eight, but I was only formally diagnosed with psoriasis three years ago when I moved GP, prior to that it was misdiagnosed as dermatitis.
“Around Christmas 2016 a new GP arrived at our doctor’s surgery and he was the first person in 23 years to ask me how the condition makes me feel, I now see him exclusively for ongoing treatment.
“Ultimately the lack of understanding from family, friends and colleagues can at times make you feel out of place and alone.”