A third of the population still believes that psoriatic disease only affects the skin. It is still understood as a minor or cosmetic pathology, ignoring the reality of its scope and underestimating its severity and impact on the entire body, from the joints to the heart, and including mental health.
It is called psoriatic disease to a chronic, inflammatory, and immune condition. When it attacks the joints, it manifests itself more frequently in psoriatic arthritis. Lto psoriasis committed to the immune system so impacts multiple areas of the body, it is a systemic disease, non-contagious, chronic, inflammatory,It is seen mainly on the skin in the form of white and red plaques and scales that are more frequently located on the elbows, knees, trunk, and scalp.
According to the Civil Association for the Psoriasis Patient (AEPSO), it is estimated that in Argentina between 2% and 3% of the population suffers from the disease. It can appear in both men and women and occur at any age, both in infants, children, and adults.
Under the motto “United” (United), World Psoriasis Day will be held this year, which seeks to give a voice to people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis around the world. Conceived by patients for patients, it is commemorated, for more than a decade, every October 29.
Within this framework, AEPSO, with the support of the Argentine Society of Psoriasis (SOARPSO) and the Argentine Society of Rheumatology (SAR), will carry out for the second consecutive year Psoriatika 2021: Knowing the depth of psoriatic disease.
The objective is to provide patients with information about their disease and effective tools for the prevention of their comorbidities, reported its organizers.
Raising social awareness is informing and educating. Making known the consequences (physical and especially psychological) of the disease is a fundamental step of understanding and normalization, they said.
Far from being a purely cosmetic problem, having psoriasis also implies a strong psychological impact, since the plates on the skin are visible and sometimes generate rejection or fear. Family, work, and social relationships can be affected and it is for this reason that the patient may feel insecure, worry, shame, frustration, stigmatization, anger, low self-esteem, and depressive symptoms. Also, people, with Severe psoriasis are more likely to have a major cardiac event, to develop type 2 diabetes, and to be at greater risk of having a stroke.
It is estimated that 3 out of 10 people with psoriasis could also develop psoriatic arthritis. It can appear in people with mild or severe psoriasis and also in those without skin involvement, but with a family history. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints, the spine, and/or areas where the tendons and ligaments join the bone. Damage to the joints is inflammatory, causing pain, swelling, heat, and difficulty in movement. It can affect any joint in the body, even the spine, although it is more common in the lower extremities, that is, in the knees, ankles, and feet. If joint inflammation is not properly treated early, it can lead to long-term destruction, deformity, and disability. Although it manifests itself in both men and women, at any stage of life, it is most common between the ages of 30 and 64.
“In psoriasis, pain and itching caused by skin lesions are two of the main symptoms. On the other hand, the visibility of the lesions causes stigmatization and with it a high impact on the quality of life. However, being inflammatory, systemic, chronic and autoimmune, is associated with multiple comorbidities, that is, diseases that appear together, share a mechanism, and require multidisciplinary care. For this reason, it has been decided to name psoriatic disease to all that large group of associated conditions that are part of the same disease,” explained Dr. Cristina Echeverría (MN 87,398), president of the Argentine Society of Psoriasis (SOARPSO)
“It is essential that as a patient association we provide spaces to learn more and more about different aspects of our disease. The idea is to be able to contain ourselves, exchange experiences, banish fears, uncertainties, and concerns through correct information, with scientific evidence and thus empower ourselves in the face of disease and the health system” Silvia Fernández Barrio, president of AEPSO, told this medium. “As patients, we must constantly know a lot about our disease. Knowing it gives us tools to face it, in a constant dialogue between the organization of patients and doctors” he added.
Timely diagnosis, early treatment, and correct compliance allow serious complications to be avoided, and allow better management if they occur, say the specialists, AEPSO reported. Currently, the control of the disease is possible because, Although there is no cure, treatments have evolved dramatically allowing patients a better quality of life and the path to remission. At this point, the specialists affirm that adherence and consistency in the follow-up of medical recommendations are essential. If not, the expected results will not be obtained. They also warn about the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the disease.
“Early consultation with the doctor is essential and, in the case of psoriatic disease, interdisciplinary work between dermatologists and rheumatologists is very important. Those patients who require it should be referred early to the rheumatologist, to guarantee an early diagnosis and timely treatment of the disease. This allows obtaining favorable responses in patients and avoids associated damages such as deformations and/or disability” indicated Dr. María Celina de la Vega (MN 89.104), president of the Argentine Society of Rheumatology.
Psoriatika 2021: Knowing the depth of psoriatic disease, will be held from tomorrow, Friday 29, and until Saturday, October 30, virtually. Hand in hand with the most important local and international referents of the specialty, it will have general approaches and by the region where the specific problems of each one can be dealt with with the participation of local referents.
“In this Congress, the protagonists are us, the patients. We have to educate ourselves, achieve empathy and closeness with the doctors” concluded Fernández Barrio.