Dubai / Emirates Business
Health experts from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) discussed the importance of early treatment for psoriasis not only to treat the disease with minimum complications but also to prevent the onset of other diseases.
Psoriasis is a chronic non-contagious systematic disease that presents itself in the form of red patches covered by white scales all over the affected area.
Al Hammadi highlighted that latest research indicates that psoriasis is a systematic disease, which means that patients with the disease are at a higher risk of developing other diseases. Thirty per cent of patients with psoriasis may develop psoriatic arthritis, those with the disease are also prone to developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression etc., and therefore they need to take charge not just of their disease but also of their overall health. Thus, early detection helps educate patients about the need to take care of their psoriasis but also to keep an eye on their overall health.”
Roughly psoriasis affects two per cent of the global population and hereditary factors play a major role in this disease and thus if both parents have psoriasis then the likelihood of their children getting the disease 41 per cent and it is14 percent if one parent has it. If one of the sibling is affected with psoriasis, the risk of other siblings developing it is 6 %. Dr Anwar Al Hammadi, Director of Dermatology at the DHA, said: “Globally, a significant number of patients have limited knowledge of the condition. The lack of knowledge often leads to delayed treatment and misconceptions about the disease. Several patients often ask us if it is contagious and we inform them that it is not contagious. Patients also need to understand that although there is no cure for the disease, it can be managed effectively through treatment and a healthy lifestyle. In addition, since the disease rarely causes any secondary infections patients can lead their life normally and continue doing all their regular activities including swimming.”
Al Hammadi said advances in treatment of psoriasis is ongoing and this means better patient outcomes in the future, which is promising for both dermatologists and patients.
Al Hammadi said presently treatment options include tropical crèmes, oral pills, phototherapy (light therapy) and for severe cases biological injections.
Al Hammadi added that currently the latest form of treatment, which is being studied, is the use of a biological pill instead of
Al Hammadi said research shows the psychological impact of psoriasis is more than cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes etc. “The appearance of the disease and unawareness among society members about the disease causes most patients psychological stress. Thus, awareness about the disease among the community will help in better acceptance and understanding of the disease.”
Al Hammadi said that in 2013 the DHA dermatology centre received 14,634 patients, of which 1117 patients had psoriasis and in 2014, out of 14,634 patients, 1216 had the disease. In 2015, the centre received 20,573 patients, of which 1765 had psoriasis, which is roughly 8.5 per cent of the patients.
Dr Sheikha Alia Al Moalla, Senior Dermatologist at the DHA, said: “It generally develops on the scalp, knees, or elbows, although it may affect any area of the skin. The production of skin cells at affected sites is accelerated, and the accumulation of excess cells causes scaly plaques. In addition to treatment options, patients need to improve their lifestyle to reduce complications of the disease.”