Patients with psoriasis and their partners experience a high burden of psychopathological and sexual consequences associated with the disease, according to the findings of a recent study.
“Psoriasis is a chronic, multisystem, inflammatory, disfiguring disease with a high negative impact on quality of life due to comorbid psychological, organic, and sexual consequences,” the researchers said.
Does Psoriasis Increase the Risk of Sexual Dysfunction?
Improving Patient Comfort and Sexual Health
In the cross-sectional study, researchers survey 220 patients with psoriasis and their partners, as well as 220 healthy controls. They evaluated participants for depression and anxiety using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, low self-esteem using the Rosenberg Self-esteem Questionnaire. Among women, sexual function was assessed using the Female Sexual Function Index Questionnaire. The International Index of Erectile Function and its abbreviated 5-item version was used to assess sexual function among men. Men with erectile dysfunction underwent hormonal assessment and penile duplex ultrasound.
“Frequency of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem were significantly higher in psoriasis patients of both sexes compared with controls,” the researchers said. They found sexual dysfunction followed the same trend and was significantly higher among individuals with psoriasis compared with controls.
Additionally, the researchers found women had significantly higher frequency of sexual dysfunction compared with men. Sexual dysfunction among men and women involved multiple domains of the sexual response cycle, they added, with depression and genital affection by psoriasis being risk factors in both sexes. Disease severity was an additional risk factor among women. Erectile dysfunction was found to be mainly psychogenic in origin, they said.
“Assessment of psychopathological and sexual comorbidities in psoriasis patients and partners should be an integral part of the management plan and should be added to the guidelines of the disease,” the researchers concluded.
Alariny AF, Farid CI, Elweshahi HM, Abbood SS. Psychological and sexual consequences of psoriasis vulgaris on patients and their partners [published online September 18, 2019]. J Sex Med. doi:10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.08.017