The psychosocial burden of psoriasis

Am J Clin Dermatol. 2005;6(6):383-92. doi: 10.2165/00128071-200506060-00005.


Background: Skin diseases such as psoriasis can profoundly influence a patient's self-image, self-esteem, and sense of well-being. Psoriasis is a multifactorial inflammatory condition with a disease burden that extends beyond the physical symptoms experienced by patients. Psoriasis affects all aspects of quality of life, including physical, psychologic, social, sexual, and occupational elements.

Objective: The goal of this article was to review the published literature on the impact of psoriasis on quality of life.

Methods: Relevant studies were identified through a comprehensive search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Derwent Drug File databases of English-language articles published between 1993 and 2005 using the terms psoriasis in combination with quality of life, cost, cost-benefit analysis, economic, employment, days lost, healthcare, hospitalization, managed care, outcomes research, occupation, payers, and psychosocial. The reference lists of identified articles were checked for additional studies that might have been missed in the original searches.

Results: Data suggest that social stigmatization, high stress levels, physical limitations, depression, employment problems and other psychosocial co-morbidities experienced by patients with psoriasis are not always proportional to, or predicted by, other measurements of disease severity such as body surface area involvement or plaque severity.

Conclusion: It is essential to include measures of psychosocial morbidity when assessing psoriasis severity and treatment efficacy because of the substantial role that psychosocial burden plays in patient perception of disease severity, quality of life, and disease course.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Employment
  • Humans
  • Psoriasis / epidemiology
  • Psoriasis / psychology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stereotyping
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Suicide / psychology