Psoriatic disease, COVID-19 and mental health

01 July 2021


A new article in press in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology reveals that nearly half (43%) of the respondents to the PsoProtectMe survey reported worsening of psoriasis during the pandemic. Moreover, a greater proportion of those reporting worsening psoriasis had signs of anxiety or depression (47%) compared to those without worsening psoriasis (29%).

These findings confirm that, now more than ever, access to psychological support is fundamental to safeguard the mental and physical health of people living with psoriasis. This information is precious for advocacy work, as IFPA has always advocated for mental health services to become part of a holistic, person-centered model of care for psoriasis. Mental health support is far from being the norm in psoriasis care, therefore it should be implemented where not currently available and, as shown by this recent article, be maintained in times of emergencies such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

IFPA’s involvement in research projects such as PsoProtectMe ensures that important scientific findings are translated into advocacy action to improve psoriasis care. This is why IFPA will continue supporting research efforts by partnering with relevant entities, to the benefit of all people living with psoriatic disease.

Logo of PsoProtectMe

Read the scientific article here.

Facts from the article

  • Four thousand and forty-three people (without COVID-19) from 86 countries (most frequently UK [2,215, 55%], USA [243, 6%], Portugal [227, 6%]) completed the PsoProtectMe survey between May 2020 and January 2021 (average age 47 years; more women [2,684, 66%] than men [1,359, 34%]).
  • One thousand, seven hundred and twenty-eight participants (43%) reported that their psoriasis got worse during the pandemic.
  • Forty-seven percent of those reporting worsening psoriasis had signs of anxiety or depression, compared to 29% of those without worsening psoriasis
  • Individuals reporting worsening of psoriasis were more likely to have obesity, be females, adopting a shielding behavior (not leaving home and minimizing all face-to-face contacts) or not taking their medications for psoriasis (immunosuppressants). The most common reason for treatment interruption was a concern over complications related to COVID-19
  • Current guidelines recommend continuing the treatment with immunosuppressants to maintain disease control.

Read the lay summary