Dealing with the mental health impact of psoriasis

People with psoriasis should not only take good care of their skin, but also of their psyche. — dpa

For anyone with psoriasis, the skin condition that impacts the lives of at least 100 million adults and children worldwide, physical care takes on a greater role.

Regular visits to the doctor, consistent skin care, good nutrition and no smoking – a healthy lifestyle is key to preventing more red patches of skin, more itching and more social awkwardness.

It's not only physical health that matters though, but also mental health, as those with psoriasis are more at risk of psychological conditions such as depression or anxiety disorders.

Because the chronic inflammatory skin disease often also affects the psyche, dermatologists say those with psoriasis need to take care of their mental health.

> Acknowledge psychological stress

Pulling yourself together and hoping for improvement won't be a solution in the long run, and the risk of developing depression increases with psoriasis.

The earlier it is treated, the better.

Dermatologists say those affected should recognise that the fact that psoriasis affecting their psyche has nothing to do with personal failure or weakness.

> Find a way to deal with stress

Stress can make psoriasis worse.

But since it is also the disease itself that stresses sufferers, a vicious circle can set in in the worst case scenario.

But this can be stopped by keeping an eye on your stress level and actively trying to reduce it.

This can look very different from person to person.

While some will recharge with yoga and mindfulness, others may prefer exercises.

> Accept outside help

It won't always be possible to find a working mental health strategy, and seeking out a patient-training course adapted to the situation of psoriasis sufferers can help.

Your dermatologist will likely be able to tell you what offers are available.

Self-help groups can also be good for the psyche, as you will quickly learn that you are not alone with this condition.

You also get an idea of how others live with psoriasis – inspiration that can possibly be incorporated into your own life.

If the pressure remains high, then psychotherapy can be useful.

You can speak to your dermatologist or family doctor for a referral. – dpa

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Mental health , psoriasis , skin


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