Lesions on the back of hands and female gender predispose to stigmatization in patients with psoriasis
Psoriasis vulgaris is characterized by disfiguring and stigmatizing skin lesions. The links among lesions distribution, severity, and stigmatization remain unclear.Objective
We sought to investigate if the involvement of visible and sensitive areas is linked to stigmatization.Methods
In all, 115 patients with psoriasis vulgaris were assessed for disease severity, skin lesions distribution, itch, and stigmatization using the Feelings of Stigmatization Questionnaire. Quality of life was assessed with the Dermatology Life Quality Index and the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF.Results
The localization of psoriatic lesions on the back of hands was related to higher stigmatization levels (P = .011, total score of the Feelings of Stigmatization Questionnaire), but not the involvement of nails, the palms, the face, or the genital area nor overall disease severity. All patients reported some level of stigmatization, regardless of the localization of lesions and type of psoriasis. Higher levels of stigmatization characterized patients who claimed not to be able to hide their lesions by clothing (P = .025), women (P = .001), and the unemployed (P = .004). Stigmatization was the strongest predictor of quality of life impairment.Limitations
Only hospitalized patients were included.Conclusions
Psoriatic lesions on the back of hands are debilitating and warrant effective treatment. Special attention should be paid to female patients, who are more sensitive to stigmatization.