Complications and Psychological Impact
Although many patients may think that psoriasis affects only the skin, it may affect internal organs if it isn’t adequately treated. Complications of psoriasis are less common nowadays due to better treatment options. These complications are:
1) Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus is found to have a higher incidence rate for patients with psoriasis. Although doctors aren’t clear about the correlation between diabetes and psoriasis, it is believed that each disease is a risk factor for the other. Psoriasis also worsens the condition of diabetes in the previously diagnosed diabetic patients.
2) Irreversible Joint Damage resulting from psoriatic arthritis is one of the most undesired complications of psoriasis. The inflammatory reactions accompanying psoriatic arthritis may result in severe damage and destruction of the joint. impairment of joint articulation could be reversible if it is treated early enough, otherwise, the patient will experience a significant reduction in joint mobility.
3) Eye Issues are more frequently seen among psoriatic patients as they are at higher risk of developing conjunctivitis, uveitis, scleritis, and cataracts. The exact correlation between psoriasis and eye problems is arguable and still under research. It is believed that two-thirds of psoriatic patients will develop some sort of eye condition. For instance, up to 20% of patients with psoriasis have uveitis.
4) Parkinson’s Disease is a reported complication of psoriasis. Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disease affecting mainly the motor system and causes static tremors. There is no concrete explanation of what links psoriasis with a neurological disease, yet psoriatic patients are at more risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
5) The Psychological Impact of chronic illnesses such as psoriasis is unneglectable. Dealing daily with the stress of having an incurable disease could be overwhelming for many patients. Although the available treatment significantly alleviates the symptoms of psoriasis and reduces the risk of complications, it is still hard to cope with the emotional aspects of the disease. A statistical study conducted in 2016 showed that approximately 16.5% of psoriatic patients are at some level of major depressive disorder. Unfortunately, anxiety and stress worsen the condition of psoriasis and may trigger a flare-up.
6) Lymphoma is a tumor of the lymphatic system. Patients with moderate to severe psoriasis are more susceptible to developing cancer, especially lymphomas. Some research papers state that the risk of developing lymphoma is 1.3 to 2 times more in psoriatic patients than in the general population.
7) Secondary Bacterial Infection is a probable complication of most skin lesions especially if treated with immunosuppressants such as psoriasis.