On the 3 May the #AskHowIFeel Psoriasis Awareness public information evening was held in The Alex hotel in Dublin. The campaign was created by Novartis and supported by the Irish Skin Foundation.
The objective of this information evening was to offer people and their families who live with psoriasis, some practical steps they can take to ensure they are supported emotionally on their own psoriasis journey. The moderator for the evening was Shane Coleman, Journalist.
Dr Marina O’Kane Consultant Dermatologist and Chair of the Irish Skin Foundation opened the evening and introduced the expert speakers.
Dr Nicola Ralph, Consultant Dermatologist, Mater Hospital, gave an excellent update on psoriasis and discussed the questionnaires that patients are given in hospital clinics to evaluate effects of psoriasis on quality of life and how important it is to honest in answering these questionnaires.
Caroline Irwin, Psoriasis patient advocate and Irish skin foundation board member, spoke candidly about her life experience, living with psoriasis from a young age and the difficulties she faced with simple things like going to a swimming pool and trying on clothes in a shop as visible psoriasis can undermine self-confidence.
Dr Clodagh Loftus GP, St James’s Hospital, discussed the physical and psychological effects of psoriasis and treatments offered in primary and secondary care. Dr Loftus also encouraged people with psoriasis to be honest when talking to their GP about how psoriasis is affecting their life.
Dr Eddie Murphy, Clinical Psychologist, discussed practical steps to managing your well-being with psoriasis. Dr Murphy also talked about managing stress, self-esteem, confidence, resilience and keeping yourself well. Concluding “when your life gets bigger than your psoriasis, your life gets better”.
Psoriasis is a complex condition that may impact quality of life and self-esteem, reducing confidence and even taking an emotional toll. Therefore, if you are living with psoriasis, we urge you not to suffer in silence but open up and share with your healthcare professionals, family and friends, how psoriasis affects you both physically and emotionally.