World Psoriasis Day

1st World Psoriasis Day, 29 October 2004: New International Survey Shows People With Psoriasis Continue to be Rejected by Others

    Prague, Czech Republic (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - Patients call for better standards of care

    People with psoriasis are still being treated as social outcasts according to the results of a new international survey announced on World Psoriasis Day. This has led for calls from a leading patient advocate, Lars Ettarp, President, International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA), to ask for increased awareness, understanding and support for the disease.

    This five-country (1), general public study revealed that around half of all people would not kiss, hug, swim with or eat food prepared by someone with psoriasis despite knowing that the skin disease is not contagious.

    The independent telephone survey of over 5,000, demographically representative individuals revealed that less than one third of respondents (29%) know that psoriasis is a common disorder affecting one in 50 people - most people think that psoriasis is a much rarer skin disease with 49% thinking it is one in 1,000 or rarer (up to one in 1 million). Around three quarters (73%) of people know that psoriasis is a skin disease and only 14% thought that it is contagious. The majority of those surveyed (76%) correctly said that psoriasis is caused by both genetic and environmental factors, although nearly 2 in 10 people thought poor hygiene was the root cause of psoriasis. This may help explain why so many people continue to exclude psoriasis sufferers.

    Although there were some interesting differences between the results from different countries - for instance 20% of French people think psoriasis is contagious compared to only 13% of Spaniards, and only 38% of Italians would kiss or hug a person with psoriasis compared to 67% of British respondents -- the survey findings were broadly similar.

    A global call for action

    World Psoriasis Day, an initiative involving psoriasis patient associations across the globe, dermatologists and patients, marks a global 'wake-up' call to the misery and social exclusion of psoriasis and the launch of a new patient proclamation calling for urgent action to significantly enhance the quality of life of people with psoriasis.

    "Psoriasis and Psoriatic arthritis are disabling diseases. For the 125 million people worldwide who suffer from psoriasis, life can be extremely difficult and we are still discriminated against due to the unsightly appearance of our skin", says Lars Ettarp from IFPA. "We want a better standard of care for people with psoriasis. In short, we want hope for a brighter future."

    Prior to the last century, people with psoriasis had little choice of treatment to control their psoriasis. Because the skin disease was poorly understood and thought to be contagious, psoriasis sufferers were shunned and even confined to leper colonies. Although there is still no cure, new, improved treatments now exist and with a combination of wide and easy access to effective treatment, increased understanding and professional support, people with psoriasis can vastly improve their disease and quality of their lives.


    (1). The five countries that participated in this survey were UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The survey was carried out by Taylor Nelson Sofres. World Psoriasis Day is sponsored by an unrestricted grant from Serono.

    Note to Editors:

    For additional information, please contact our website or contact your local psoriasis patient group.

ots Originaltext: World Psoriasis Day
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