Heartbreak of Psoriasis is that Psoriasis May Lead to Heart Disease

The "heartbreak of psoriasis" is a metaphorical statement that a television commercial for a coal-based topical ointment once popularized. The phrase refers to the emotional distress in addition to the physical stress of the disease.

Due to recent research concerning the correlation between psoriasis and heart disease, this phrase can now indicate what an article in a 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found upon reviewing these studies:


  • Blood markers linked with psoriasis, especially TNF-a, indicate a type of inflammation associated with atherosclerosis.
  • Factors exacerbating psoriasis such as obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are also factors related to the eventual emergence of heart disease.
  • A few studies found patients suffering from severe psoriasis are also as risk for coronary heart disease (CAD), independent of other factors.

Quality of Life

heartbreakofpsoriasis

The heartbreak of psoriasis also ascribes to fact that patients with recurring psoriasis suffer from the same reduced quality of life from which people with other non-autoimmune diseases suffer.

Although these diseases such as congestive heart failure and depression do not exhibit visible markings, they can still debilitate people to the point where they cannot care for themselves. Many people do not realize how psoriasis can affect a variety of everyday skills we take for granted:

  • Patients with thick, painful psoriasis plaques on the soles of their feet will have trouble walking or standing
  • Patients with psoriasis covering the hands may experience difficulty using hands for work, dressing themselves and performing household chores
  • Scalp psoriasis resulting in flakes resembling dandruff can embarrass people enough to limit their ability to interact with others
  • The National Psoriasis Foundations reports the results of a survey that indicated 70 percent of 426 people suffering from psoriasis felt embarrassed, self-conscious and stigmatized by their disease.

Contributing to the broken heart of psoriasis is that anxiety and also social seclusion is a recognized reason for over-eating and also hypersomnia, 2 effective factors affecting the growth of excessive weight.

A vicious circle kinds when these problems as well as illness take place with each other, supporting the regularity of psoriasis break outs as well as to the extent of psychological wellness problems. Obtaining weight just equips psoriasis plaques with a much more helpful atmosphere in which to spread out and also get worse since psoriasis frequently influences skin folds up where skin continues to be damp as well as cozy.

Coping with Heartbreak of Psoriasis

In addition to coping with psoriasis, patients must also endure rigorous treatment programs, while usually successful, sometimes results in less than desirable results. This can be aggravating and depressing, as the continued reactions from people repelled by the disfiguring skin lesions only deepen the anxiety and shame of patients suffering from the disease.

An article "Interpersonal Concerns and Psychological Difficulties of Psoriasis Patients: Effects of Disease Severity and Fear of Negative Evaluation" appeared in a 1998 edition of Health Psychology. In it, authors Leary et al discuss a finding in one study that indicated, "19 percent of patients reported incidents of blatant rejection in which they were explicitly asked to leave a restaurant, health club, swimming pool, etc. because of their psoriasis.”

The authors suggest that psoriasis patients would benefit from receiving the same kind of counseling provided for people suffering from social phobia and/or social anxiety. Psychotherapeutic interventions in which patients are given instructions on how to reduce preoccupations with the self during social interactions as well as decreasing the motivations fueling the need for social approval.

By engaging in a combination of successful treatment programs and professional counseling, patients can become better equipped to handle the heartbreak of psoriasis and experience a better quality of life while living with this disease.


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