To mark World Psoriasis Day 2017 (October 29) the ISF is launching the SaySomething campaign, to help raise awareness, dispel myths and empower people with psoriasis to handle everyday situations that can be tricky for people living with the condition. The campaign is supported by AbbVie.
This year the charity, which supports people with all kinds of skin condition, has teamed up with Peter Mark Hairdresser to build-in a special video message (from resident stylist Luke) to anyone with scalp psoriasis who might feel anxious about going to get their hair cut or styled. (According to the Burden of Psoriasis Report, 77% of people with psoriasis surveyed admitted their skin has made them hide themselves away).
The new SaySomething resources, especially for people with scalp psoriasis, re-emphasis that the condition isn’t contagious; they also offer advice about how to be open about symptoms and provide simple tips that a hairdresser or barber can follow when working with someone with scalp psoriasis.
“Everyday activities like going to the swimming pool, the hairdressers or trying on new clothes in a shop can be a challenge; sometimes making you feel extremely self-consciousness, embarrassed, or anxious over what people might say or think about how your skin looks”, according to Caroline Irwin who has had psoriasis all of her adult life.
As part of the SaySomething campaign the ISF has created an online hub where some of the psychological aspects of psoriasis are explored. The 2017 hub contains a host of resources such as a new scalp psoriasis leaflet, psoriasis information booklet and videos which offer practical advice and tips for those with or caring for someone with psoriasis.
“It is important to remember that the impact of psoriasis extends beyond the skin, often affecting a person’s psychological wellbeing because it is a very visible condition. We also know that people with psoriasis have higher levels of depression and anxiety. In addition, it can affect quality of life, limiting leisure activities and personal relationships.” Dr Anne-Marie Tobin, Consultant Dermatologist, Tallaght Hospital.
The SaySomething campaign’s videos are also being played in numerous GP surgeries nationwide, via MyHealthTime, to help spread awareness of the complex issues that living with psoriasis can present.