The Psoriasis Uncovered Survey was been developed by healthcare professionals to assess the impact that living with psoriasis maybe have on your experiences and choices in life. We hope these valuable insights help encourage people with psoriasis to seek appropriate help, further educate healthcare professionals, and raise the profile and understanding of the condition around the world.
Read below for the latest psoriasis survey results.
New research unmasks crushing consequences of severe skin condition
The following findings are based on the results of the Psoriasis Uncovered survey conducted during
September 2010 amongst 363 Australians with psoriasis (aged 18+). The objective of the research was to
assess the impact that living with psoriasis has on people’s experiences and choices in life: emotionally,
socially and sexually. The average age of diagnosis within the sample was 22.3; the average time
respondents have lived with psoriasis was 23.4 years. Of the survey sample, 55% were female and 45%
were male. Ninety-two percent of respondents experienced flare-ups per year.
A hidden disease
• 71% try to conceal their psoriasis break-outs (or flare-ups) from other people most of the time or all of
• A greater proportion of younger sufferers (under the age of 35) hide their flare-ups compared with
those of 35 or older (82% vs. 68%).
• Of those who hide their condition, 83% hide it from the general public.
• 65% hide their psoriasis from their work colleagues and 49% hide it from their boss.
• Psoriasis is hidden from work colleagues by both men (68%) and women (63%).
• 58% hide their skin affliction from their friends and 39% even hide it from their closest friends.
• 40% of both men and women hide their psoriasis from their extended family and 20% even hide it from
their partner or spouse.
The case for concealment: insecurity and stigma
• Embarrassment is the leading cause sufferers conceal their condition (82%).
• 48% hide their psoriasis because of a fear of having to explain or talk about it, with those aged 25-35
particularly scared to talk about their psoriasis (67%).
• 26% hide their condition because they fear they will be judged and 19% worry they will be
• The fear of being judged is particularly strong for those under 35 years of age (44%).
• Nearly half (47%) of all sufferers worry that the general public think their skin condition is a contagious
• More than 1 in 3 (38%) feel the general public stare at them because of their psoriasis with 26% fearing
that the general public are repulsed by the sight of their symptoms. Interestingly, this worry is felt
equally by both men (27%) and women (24%).
Deflated passion and romance
• Almost two thirds (61%) of sufferers don’t feel sexy or attractive because of their psoriasis and this
insecurity is shared by both women (66%) and men (56%).
• Sufferers aged 25-35 are particularly vulnerable to not feeling attractive or sexy (87%).
• 30% of sufferers do not feel affectionate toward their partner or children.
• As a result of their condition 30% do not want sex and surprisingly, the ‘mojo’ of both men and women
wane due to their condition (33% of females and 26% of males do not want sex).
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Relationship strains and mood swings
• 79% feel that their skin condition impacts negatively on their relationships.
• 80% experience mood changes, such as frustration and anger, when their psoriasis flares up or when
they are experiencing symptoms.
• 94% of those who experience mood swings feel so much frustration with their symptoms that it wrecks
havoc on many parts of their life, including their:
- Relationships (41%)
- Family life (38%)
- Social life (55%) and
- General health and well-being (64%).
• For sufferers aged 25-35, disruption to social life and relationships is particularly common (70% and
Work, rest and play: sufferers lose out time and time again
• One third of sufferers (33%) have not been able to attend an important event, such as a holiday or work
meeting, due to a flare-up with younger people (aged 18–25) missing out the most (66%).
• Sufferers under retirement age miss an average of 4.4 days of work per year because of their condition, almost half of their annual sick-day entitlement.
• Nearly two thirds (64%) of sufferers who were diagnosed with psoriasis before the age of 10 were
bullied at school because of their condition.
Increased alcohol intake: a vicious circle for some psoriasis sufferers
• Psoriasis leads more than 1 in 10 sufferers to drink more alcohol.
• Heightened alcohol intake is particularly prevalent in men (nearly 1 in 5 men drink more since having
the condition and 1 in 10 men say that it makes them drink more alcohol).
Psoriasis Uncovered was a quantitative survey conducted in Australia during September 2010 in conjunction with an independent market research agency, Stollznow Research. The sample includes 363 Australians of 18 years of age or older with psoriasis. The respondents were recruited via dermatologists and online advertising – 42% responded to the survey online, 58% submitted their answers via a written questionnaire. The survey is a partnership initiative between Psoriasis Australia and Abbott Australasia and the questionnaire was developed in consultation with Dr Chris Baker, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne.