Does Psoriasis Have Serious Complications?
We can’t mince words. Yes. Having psoriasis increases your risk of other health issues—mental and physical. The risks and complications that may come with psoriasis include:
- Depression. Your risk is twice as high as in those who don’t have psoriasis. The reason? Twofold, actually. Experts suggest that the physiological changes you undergo with developing psoriasis may also lead to depression. In addition, you may feel self-conscious of skin lesions and the attention they may draw from other people, leading to emotional distress.
- Stroke. Researchers are trying to connect the dots between psoriasis and cardiovascular disease. Your risk of a stroke is 43% higher had you not had the skin disorder. Big asterisk here, though: The risk is greatest in those with severe cases of psoriasis. If you fall into that camp, it’s crucial to work with your doctor on monitoring lifestyle habits such as smoking.
- Psoriatic arthritis. About 30% of psoriasis sufferers also have psoriatic arthritis, a chronic condition that’s also deeply linked to the immune system. While psoriasis affects the skin, psoriatic arthritis affects the joints and some parts of the body where ligaments and tendons are attached to the bone. The result is stiffness, swelling, pain, and joint damage, which in some cases can be irreversible. A vast majority (85% to be precise) develop skin psoriasis first and then the joint version crops up years—even a decade—after psoriasis is diagnosed. In fact, if you have psoriasis and your joints begin to stiffen, your doctor will suspect psoriatic arthritis. (Case in point: Kim Kardashian was recently diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis—13 years after her first flare up of skin psoriasis.) As with psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis can flare at any age, but its peak time is between ages 30-50. Although some treatments for psoriasis can alleviate psoriatic arthritis symptoms, it’s best to see a rheumatologist, an M.D. who specializes in arthritis.
- Lymphoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer. If you have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, your risk of lymphoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer is higher than if you don’t have these conditions. Doctors are unsure whether the link is due to the inflammation caused by the conditions themselves (it’s been linked to the growth of cancer), or from medications that impact the immune system.
- Osteoporosis. While exact numbers are not available, one small study found that 18% of study participants with psoriasis had the bone disease, while an astounding 60% had osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis. The sooner you catch this, the better. Researchers found that the threat increases by 5 percent for every year the bone disorder goes unnoticed.
We are in this Together!
-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
REVIEWED BY DR P CARROTHERS