Skin

12 April 2017

Men more prone to severe psoriasis

A psoriasis 'gender gap' was found to be true for all age groups and for all parts of the body except the head, where severity scores were about equal.

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Psoriasis involves the abnormally rapid build-up of skin cells, causing scaly, thick, red patches on the skin. It is a chronic autoimmune disease.  

Recently a Swedish study reported a "gender gap" as more men seek treatment for severe psoriasis than women.

Researchers reviewed the data from more than 5 400 people in Sweden with the common skin disease. The study found that women had a significantly lower rate of severe psoriasis than men.

Gender perspective

This was true for all age groups and for all parts of the body except the head, where severity scores were about the same for both sexes.

Health24 article reports that although not contagious, psoriasis is a complex genetic disease that tends to run in families.

The discovery that men's psoriasis is often more serious helps explain a gender gap, with more men than women seeking psoriasis treatment, said study senior author Marcus Schmitt-Egenolf. He is a researcher at Umea University's Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.

"These findings should motivate a gender perspective in the management of severe psoriasis and its comorbidities, such as cardiovascular and metabolic disease," Schmitt-Egenolf said in a university news release.

Unlike severe psoriasis, most autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis are more common in women than in men.

Psoriasis can't be cured, but sufferers should take note of the following triggers and risk factors:

Read more:

Psoriasis increases odds for type 2 diabetes

Psoriasis uncovered

How to manage psoriasis

 

Ask the Expert

Skin expert

Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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