Coping With the Emotional Toll of Psoriasis


Linda Wasmer Andrews

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PHYSICIAN CONTRIBUTOR psoriasis-on-elbow

Expert Answers to Psoriasis Treatment FAQs

Dr. David Harvey, a dermatologist and surgeon, answers some common psoriasis questions.
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Psoriasis can be a distressing disease—and the distress is often compounded by the timing. Psoriasis usually starts between ages 15 and 35, a time when people are especially concerned about how they look. For many, the change in outward appearance leads to some inner emotional turmoil. For a few, it may trigger more severe depression or anxiety.

The numbers tell the story. About 4,700 people responded to a National Psoriasis Foundation survey that asked about their emotional well being. More than two-thirds said the disease made them feel self-conscious, embarrassed, angry, frustrated, or helpless.

There are many treatment options for psoriasis, and they all come with risks and benefits. Ultimately, whether you treat with topical creams, light therapy, or medications, you and your doctor will decide the best treatment path together.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Apr 13, 2016

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