Survey shows impact of psoriasis is more than skin deep

. Otherwise, the patient's psoriasis is not fully managed."

Psoriasis occurs when the new skin cell growth rapidly accelerates, resulting in thick, red, scaly, inflamed patches on the skin's surface. Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease, and is characterized by inflamed patches of skin ("lesions") topped with silvery white scales. Psoriasis can be limited to a few spots or involve extensive areas of the body, appearing most commonly on the scalp, knees, elbows and trunk. Although it is highly visible, psoriasis is not a contagious disease. While there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are a number of treatment options available including topical creams and ointments, phototherapy, systemics and most recently biologic therapies which offer new hope to psoriasis sufferers.

Key Survey Findings

Conducted in December 2003 by the NFO, a leading market research firm, the survey sampled 502 people with moderate-to-severe psoriasis to determine the effect the disease has on four crucial aspects of life: self-esteem, work/school, relationships (including sex life and intimacy) and social interactions. Most strikingly, three-quarters (73%) of people with severe psoriasis and about half (48%) of people with moderate psoriasis reported low self-confidence serious enough to affect virtually all aspects of life. Further, the survey found that one of the driving forces behind these feelings is a perceived lack of understanding among the general public. Less than one in ten people surveyed (8%) feel that society understands the disease. Sixty-seven percent say the public is ignorant about psoriasis, 64% say the public is afraid that the disease may be contagious, 56% say the public is disgusted by psoriasis and 45% say that people with psoriasis are often the "object of ridicule."

Findings of an Omnibus Survey of 1,000 adult Americans, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation International (ORC) in December 200


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