Every year on October 29th, people with psoriasis stand together across the world to share their stories and encourage a dialogue about a skin disease that affects more than 100 million people.
World Psoriasis Day, an annual day dedicated to people with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis, was created by patients for patients. It is a global day of recognition that is designed to give an international voice to the more than 125 million people with psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis around the world.
In 2004 members and non-members of psoriasis associations around the world launched World Psoriasis Day to raise awareness of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The event is hosted by the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA), the international organization comprised of a membership of psoriasis organizations from countries around the world.
“This year’s World Psoriasis Day activities focus on global access to care. Unfortunately, access to care and affordable medications can be challenging for many people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis,” explains Noe Baker, public relations manager, National Psoriasis Foundation, a member of the IFPA.
“On Oct.ober 29, the National Psoriasis Foundation encourages people to submit stories about their experiences with access to care and affordable medications, such as high out-of-pocket costs that make treatment cost prohibitive. The Psoriasis Foundation works to eliminate barriers that affect people’s ability to receive proper treatment,” he says.
This is just one event from the IFPA, whose members meet regularly to collaborate and to discuss important issues affecting the world’s psoriasis community.
World Psoriasis Day aims to raise the profile of a condition that patients say needs to be taken more seriously by national and international authorities. The mission is multifold:
• Raising awareness: to let people with psoriasis know that they are not alone and to raise the profile of the skin disease and the quality of life issues it can cause. Also on the agenda is dispelling the myths about the condition.
• Improving access to treatment: to encourage healthcare systems, governments, physicians and caregivers to allow psoriasis patients access to the best therapies for them.
• Increasing understanding: to provide information to those who are affected by the condition as well as the general public. Through this education, people will be able to discuss psoriasis more openly and confidently.
• Building unity among the psoriasis community: to provide a platform from which patient voices from around the world can speak as one and be heard by key decision makers.
World Psoriasis Day 2013 is sponsored aby Abbvie, Celgene, Janseen, Leo Pharma, Eli Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer.
Shining A Spotlight
Various activities are planned throughout world for World Psoriasis Day. A key element of the campaign includes testimonials from people with psoriatic disease. They are encouraged to help spread the world about the disease by sharing their stories (Figure 1 and 2).
Figure 2. A key element of the campaign includes testimonials from people with psoriatic disease.
Recently more and more people have been speaking out about their psoriasis. Stylist and television host Stacy London and AbbVie teamed up for a new campaign featuring psoriasis-friendly fashion advice and educational resources designed to encourage people living with psoriasis to proactively deal with their condition. The new psoriasis campaign, Uncover Your Confidence, features educational resources, tools, support networking and style advice. Other high profile people, like Kim Kardashian and Next Top Model alum Cara Delevingne have been speaking about their experiences with the skin condition.
Fast Facts on Psoriasis
Prevalence & Onset
• Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the US
• According to current studies, as many as 7.5 million Americans—approximately 2.2% of the population—have psoriasis.
• 125 million people worldwide—2% - 3% of the total population—have psoriasis, according to the World Psoriasis Day consortium.
• Studies show that between 10% - 30% of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis.
• Psoriasis prevalence in African Americans is 1.3% compared to 2.5% of Caucasians.
• Psoriasis often appears between the ages of 15 and 25, but can develop at any age.
• Psoriatic arthritis usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50, but can develop at any age.
Quality of life
• Psoriasis is not a cosmetic problem. Nearly 60% of people with psoriasis reported their disease to be a large problem in their everyday life.
• Nearly 40% with psoriatic arthritis reported their disease to be a large problem in everyday life.
• Patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis experienced a greater negative impact on their quality of life.
• Psoriasis has a greater impact on quality of life in women and younger patients.
Severity & Genetics of psoriasis
• The National Psoriasis Foundation defines mild psoriasis as affecting less than 3% of the body; 3% to 10% is considered moderate; more than 10% is considered severe. For most individuals, your hand is about the same as 1% of the skin surface. However, the severity of psoriasis is also measured by how psoriasis affects a person’s quality of life.
• Nearly one-quarter of people with psoriasis have cases that are considered moderate to severe.
• About 1out of 3 people with psoriasis report having a relative with psoriasis.
• If 1 parent has psoriasis, a child has about a 10% chance of having psoriasis. If both parents have psoriasis, a child has approximately a 50% chance of developing the disease.
Cost of psoriasis
• Total direct and indirect healthcare costs of psoriasis for patients are calculated at $11.25 billion annually, with work loss accounting for 40% of the cost burden. Approximately 60% of psoriasis patients missed an average of 26 days of work a year due to their illness.
Source: National Psoriasis Foundation. For more information, please see www.psoriasis.org