Online Support Groups Help Patients Better Manage Psoriasis

computer-pictureA recent study published in the Archives of Dermatology, a Journal of the American Medical Association journal, concludes that many patients suffering from skin and joint problems that result from psoriasis can improve their emotional health and well-being by participating in online support groups.

260 adults participated in a study conducted by the team at the Center for Connected Health and Massachusetts General Hospital; participants were required to use an online support site to keep up with the latest news about their health problems, and interact with community members about their health issues.

Dermatologists previously noted that many people suffering from psoriasis were embarrassed abot the problem and rarely turned to others for help.  The support groups helped many people connect with others with a similar condition, while remaining anonymous.  This helped relieve the pressure of sharing, what to them, was an incredibly embarrassing problem, and the community could serve as a positive place to manage the condition.

The official report and results of the study indicate that;

"People with chronic disease are believed to relate best to Web-based information produced by other patients. Internet support groups share common objectives with their face-to-face counterparts but have strengths and weaknesses unique to the online setting. Although online support may lack the immediacy and intensity of a group meeting, it allows members to access information at a time and place of their choice. In addition, it offers individuals the advantage of anonymity and perceived lack of judgment."

In addition to anonymous support groups, patients can turn to local resources and workshops sponsored by the National Psoriasis Foundation that may help with copoing methods and giving patients a chance to  meet with a counselor or other patients in a face-to-face setting.

Still, for those who are not seeking help because they are embarrassed or ashamed of their condition can still turn to the Internet for a wealth of resources and valuable contacts.

Further Reading

  • Up until now, dermatologists have been trying a variety of different skin removal techniques to get rid of precancerous skin lesions.

  • Topical agents, diet and certain medicines presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2010 in Chicago is showing promise for preventing UV-induced skin cancer. Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, and dermatologists are now encouraging the public to be conscientious about the amount of sun they are exposed to, and taking extra steps to use broad-spectrum sunscreen on a regular basis.

  • Individuals with a rare skin disease called recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) can improve their condition with the transfer of bone marrow stem cells. A team of medical researchers has found that bone marrow stem cells can effectively treat the disease and help to repair the skin and speed up the healing process. This skin disease cannot be treated with conventional dermatology procedures.