An unexpected, but welcome, effect of my post about cancer is that I am being asked more to speak about the process and encouraging more people to get checked out. Leading up to the day that I finally went to get my skin checked, I had spent months in physical pain and spent an equal amount of time hiding my skin patches with bulky clothes and avoiding pools, even in the hottest weather.
Thinking I had psoriasis, I was growing more miserable by the day and definitely wish I had sought out treatment sooner. I also wish I had a good reason why I lived with this for so long without mentioning it to a doctor, but I do not. While it turns out I didn’t have psoriasis myself, those living with the disease will tell you it is no walk in the park.
Psoriasis affects about one million people in Canada and a recent World Psoriasis Happiness Report conducted by the LEO Innovation Lab and LEO Pharma, in partnership with the Happiness Research Institute, shows that while Canada ranks fifth on the world psoriasis happiness scale, that doesn’t mean those people are actually happy. While psoriasis is a condition of the skin, it has a huge impact on people’s emotional, mental health and well-being.
Imagine not being able to enjoy the summer weather or being too self-conscious to go play with your kids in the pool. It’s no wonder that while the average Canadian rated their happiness at 7.3/10, psoriasis sufferers in Canada rated their overall happiness at 6.1/10, a full 17% lower! I can’t stress enough that you go to your family doctor or dermatologist if you think you may have psoriasis.
Trust me, it’s not worth the stress and lack of self-confidence to continue ignoring your symptoms, whether it’s psoriasis or any other illness. With psoriasis, specifically, it’s a chronic condition that requires continuous treatment, not just attention when there’s a flare-up as I did for over a year.
Take your happiness back and talk to your doctor about the different treatment options out there. Psoriasis is highly treatable by topical treatments applied directly on the skin, such as creams, lotions, ointments, gels and foams and some may advance to oral systemic or biologic therapy, which may also be used in combination with topicals.
If you’re interested, you can read the first-ever World Psoriasis Happiness Report here: https://psoriasishappiness.report/. It provides analysis of findings from online surveys completed by more than 120,000 people in more than 100 countries who live with psoriasis, including more than 2,250 Canadians.
Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, however the message remains the same. Get yourself checked if you feel something is off. You’ll be thankful that you did.