Monday, December 11, 2017
A study has shown the link between psoriasis and depression.Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease which affects the skin and joints. It commonly causes red scaly patches to appear on the skin. The scaly patches caused by psoriasis are often called psoriasis plaques or lesions. Psoriasis plaques are areas of excessive skin cell production and inflammation. Skin rapidly accumulates at these sites and sometimes takes a silvery-white appearance. Plaques frequently occur on the skin of the elbows and knees, but can affect any area including the scalp and genitals. Psoriasis is not contagious; it cannot be passed from person to person.Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Dr. Ho and his colleagues studied cases of psoriasis and depression in a pool of 12,382 adult patients. About 16.5 percent of the psoriasis patients studied met the criteria for major depression, and the odds of having major depression were doubled among psoriasis patients. The association between the two conditions remained significant even when researchers adjusted for other risk factors, including age, gender, race, body mass index, physical activity, history of alcohol use and smoking, and history of other conditions like myocardial infarction, stroke and diabetes mellitus. Dr. Ho believes the connection between psoriasis and depression may be linked to the public's stigmatization of psoriasis. The condition is highly visible on the skin, especially in the summer months when more skin is exposed, he says, and those who are unfamiliar with the disease may react unfavorably to people who have it.