Author(s): Ginsburg IH, Link BG
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Many studies as well as clinical experience indicate that patients often feel stigmatized by their psoriasis and may experience rejection due to their skin disease. METHODS: In this study of connections between feelings about having psoriasis, rejection by others, and the impact on work experience, alcohol use, and psychiatric help-seeking, 100 adults with moderate to severe psoriasis responded to a specially designed questionnaire. Multiple regression analysis is used to determine whether, and how, rejection experience and stigma feelings are associated with the three psychosocial outcomes after controlling for psoriasis severity. RESULTS: Nineteen percent of the subjects experienced 50 episodes of gross rejection as a result of their psoriasis, most often from a gym, pool, hairdresser, or job. Rejection experience leads to feeling stigmatized, which is then associated with help seeking and, to some degree, with interference with work. Rejection can lead to feeling stigmatized and to increased alcohol consumption, but the data show that patients may drink without conscious awareness of their feelings. CONCLUSIONS: When patients experience psoriasis-related rejection, they may feel stigmatized and suffer further adverse effects on their emotional and occupational life. It is urgent that ways of helping people deal with the impact of psoriasis, its stigmatizing potential, and the consequences of psoriasis-induced rejection be emphasized.
This article was published in Int J Dermatol
and referenced in Dermatology Case Reports