Associated Health Problems

What other Health Problems Should I Watch Out For?

People with psoriasis have a higher risk of developing some other health conditions. These are called comorbid diseases or comorbidities, and include heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes. People with more severe cases of psoriasis have an increased incidence of psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, cancer, depression, obesity, and other immune-related conditions such as Crohn’s disease.

Cardiovascular risk

Studies have confirmed that people with psoriasis have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease especially those with severe psoriasis in their 40s and 50s. As someone with psoriasis, you should consider your modifiable risk factors–the risk factors that you can change–such as quitting smoking, reducing stress and maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI).

Emotional Distress

Many individuals with psoriasis have considerable emotional distress due to their condition, which may manifest as self-esteem issues, or mood disorders, such as depression. In fact, research shows that as many as 25% of people with psoriasis are dealing with depression. If you feel that you may be affected by depression, talk to your dermatologist or health-care professional. They can guide you to resources to help you deal with your emotions.

Cancer

Research indicates that people with psoriasis have an increased risk of certain types of cancer, such as a form of skin cancer known as squamous-cell carcinoma and lymphoma. In some cases, these cancers were associated with specific psoriasis treatments that suppress the immune system. It is important that you follow the regular health screenings for cancer as recommended by your doctor, and avoid high-risk behaviours.

Thickened skin and bacterial infections

Both of these complications can arise if severe itching causes a person with psoriasis to scratch excessively.

Other Comorbidities

  • Thinning of the skin from overuse of topical steroids
  • Fluid and electrolyte imbalance in cases of severe pustular psoriasis
  • Psoriatic Arthritis