In 2018 we put the spotlight on young people who are living with psoriasis and shared some of the information and support resources we have to offer, including our WhatsApp helpline service. We also launched a short video, 'The Itch Challenge' - can you sit through the whole video without having to scratch? Finally, we revealed the 'Psoriasis Top 10' research priorities - the culmination of the psoriasis Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) project, which many of you will have taken part in.
In early 2018 we conducted a survey of 250 young people with psoriasis which highlighted the impact the condition can have on many aspects of young people's lives.
The survey revealed that 94% are affected by anxiety and depression, with 77% claiming that psoriasis has had a negative effect on their social life. Indeed, social isolation is clearly an issue in young people with psoriasis, as 67% claimed to feel isolated by their condition. Linked to this, 70% feel that their healthcare professionals don’t understand what it’s like to live with psoriasis, and 60% feel that family and friends don’t understand how their psoriasis makes them feel. Additionally, 47% are worried for their future, believing that psoriasis has or will have a negative effect on their studies or career.
As a result of what we found, we launched a brand new WhatsApp helpline service in order to make it easier to contact us and find information and support. You can access our WhatsApp service by messaging us on the app at 07387716439 between 9am - 5pm on Monday to Thursday, and between 9am -4.30pm on Fridays.
The Itch Challenge
Itch is still an under-recognised symptom of psoriasis, yet it can have a significant impact on quality of life! To highlight this, we're introducing the 'Itch Challenge' - have a watch of the video below and see whether you can make it through without needing to scratch!
Revealing the 'Psoriasis Top 10' Research Priorities
Following two years of consultation, the 'Psoriasis Top 10' research priorities were announced in Psoriasis Awareness Week 2018. This marked the culmination of the psoriasis Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) which was set up with the aim of bringing together people with psoriasis, their families and friends, and healthcare professionals in order to identify the areas which future psoriasis research should focus on.
Many of you will have taken part in the project yourselves, so we hope you were as excited as us to find out what the 'Top Ten' priorities were. Publishing these priorities should help ensure that future psoriasis research focuses on answering the questions that are most important to people who are affected by psoriasis.
So without further ado, here they are...
1. Do lifestyle factors such as diet, dietary supplements, alcohol, smoking, weight loss and exercise play a part in treating psoriasis?
2. Does treating psoriasis early (or proactively) reduce the severity of the disease, make it more likely to go into remission, or stop other health conditions developing?
3. What factors predict how well psoriasis will respond to a treatment?
4. What is the best way to treat the symptoms of psoriasis: itching, burning, redness, scaling and flaking?
5. How well do psychological and educational interventions work for adults and children with psoriasis?
6. Does treating psoriasis help improve other health conditions, such as psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and stress?
7. Why do psoriasis treatments stop working well against psoriasis and when they stop working well, what’s the best way to regain control of the disease?
8. To what extent is psoriasis caused by a person’s genes or other factors, such as stress, gut health, water quality, or change in the weather / temperature?
9. Is a person with psoriasis more likely to develop other health conditions (either as a consequence of psoriasis or due to the effect of treatments for psoriasis)? If so, which ones?
10. What’s the best way to treat sudden flare ups of psoriasis?