Issue of November 10, 2019
Mt. Province
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People with psoriasis may avail of benefits given to PWDs too
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

For those who are not yet aware, people who have psoriasis may also avail of the benefits granted to persons with disability.

Psoriasis is an auto immune disease characterized by the rapid multiplication of skin cells then build up scales and red patches on the skin.

According to Dr. Faith Kishi Generao, a visiting consultant at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, psoriasis is considered a form of disability because of the social stigma attached to having disease. She said people with psoriasis are often discriminated because of the misimpression that the disease can be acquired via skin to skin contact.

Because people avoid them, those with psoriasis often wear clothing that hide the often-exposed parts of the skin like the neck and arms.

“Sa mga swimming pool, hindi sila makalangoy dahil ipinagbabawal ang mga may sakit sa balat,” Generao said. But contrary to perception, she said psoriasis is hereditary and is not contagious.

She said there is no cure yet for psoriasis but there are lotions, ointments and other medications to keep the skin moisturized and to prevent lesions emanating from very dry skin. And because the disease is long term, Generao said the cost of treatment is expensive.

“‘Wag natin silang iwasan. Hindi nakakahawa ang psoriasis,” Generao said.

Psoriasis can occur at any age but the cases recorded by the WHO show that the average onset of symptoms occurred before 33 years of age.

Symptoms of psoriasis are scaling of the skin, itching, erythema or redness of the skin, fatigue, burning sensation on the skin, and bleeding. 

Based on the 2016 World Health Organization global report, psoriasis is considered as a serious non-communicable disease because too many people in the world suffer needlessly from it due to incorrect or delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment options, insufficient access to care and because of social stigmatization.

The report stated that psoriasis is not only a disease that causes painful, debilitating, highly visible physical symptoms. It is also associated with a multitude of psychological impairments like embarrassment, lack of self-esteem, anxiety, and increased prevalence of depression.

To address the issues of people with psoriasis, the WHO said governments must take steps to combat public myths about psoriasis.

It includes conducting an extensive media campaign aimed at increasing awareness about psoriasis, and introducing legislation to prevent discrimination against people suffering from diseases, such as psoriasis that cause visible body changes.

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