Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a treatable autoimmune condition affecting over 8 million people in the United States. The most common form of it, plaque psoriasis, can cause a rash that forms itchy, scaly patches of skin to form on any part of the body, but it is commonly found on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp.

In addition to the physical discomfort of the condition, psoriasis sufferers often experience significant psychosocial distress due to the visible nature of their condition–and sometimes due to the misconception that their condition is contagious.

How are patients and HCPs discussing psoriasis on social media? 

Search Trends

The Trends Section provides an overview of some of the most recent and relevant topics that relate to particular health conditions.

It features a selection of the topics that have the fastest growing Google search interest across the last three months, and reflects the inquiries of patients, healthcare providers, scientists, and others who are invested in the topic.

This is valuable to understand people’s interests and concerns at the present moment, and often include the U.S. states that have the highest interest in a topic. 

Quilt.AI brings these trends to life through an analysis that incorporates both cultural and scientific lenses.

When it comes to drugs to manage symptoms of psoriasis, what are people searching for?

What's trending on search for Psoriasis?

Search interest for “home remedies for psoriasis’ increased by 66% in the past 3 months, from June to August 2022

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1. Home remedies on the rise

Driven in part by marketing around National Psoriasis Awareness Month in August, search interest in many topics related to the condition have been increasing over the past three months (June to August).

One topic that has seen a marked increase in interest is home remedies. These searches lead to a range of recommendations, including  consuming turmeric, taking salt baths, applying aloe vera, or using medicated soaps.

cBecause every case of psoriasis is unique, however, there isn’t a single method for effectively treating the disease. There is therefore an opportunity for a more nuanced guide to natural remedies for psoriasis that takes into account patients’ unique experiences of the condition.

2. Visualizing plaque psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis – it affects around 80% of people who suffer from the condition. Plaque psoriasis manifests as thick, dry, red or dark areas of skin, with silvery-white scales that can itch or burn. 

Over the last three months, there has been an increase in people looking for photos of plaque psoriasis. These searches are likely driven by people’s need to distinguish between psoriasis and other diseases that present in similar ways but require different treatment, esp. eczema. 

Women 55-64 are responsible for the largest chunk of these searches; this aligns with the fact that this demographic group is the most likely to suffer from the condition. 

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Search interest for “plaque psoriasis photos” has increased by 19% in the past 3 months, from June to August 2022

Search interest for “arthropathic psoriasis” increased by 58% in the past 3 month, from June to August 2022

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3. Arthropathic psoriasis

Arthropathic psoriasis – also known as psoriatic arthritis – is an autoimmune disorder characterised by inflammation of the joints, and occasionally the spine. It affects almost 1 in 3 people with psoriasis, usually presenting 5 to 10 years after the onset of psoriasis symptoms.

The increased interest in arthropathic psoriasis over the past three months is likely driven by National Psoriasis Awareness Month marketing. This finding suggests that information about arthritis – and other possible complications of psoriasis – should be made easily accessible, esp. during periods when general interest in psoriasis is likely to be up.

4. Guttate psoriasis pictures

Guttate psoriasis appears as small, red, scaly water drop-shaped spots on the trunk, arm or legs. Guttate psoriasis is most common in children and young adults, especially after a strep throat infection.

Searches for images of guttate psoriasis has increased sharply in the past three months. This is likely driven in part by National Psoriasis Awareness Month, which is increasing interest in all aspects of psoriasis. As well, this increased interest might be due to people seeking to distinguish between strep throat and a COVID infection. 

The fastest-growing searches about guttate psoriasis are for treatments and cures – these searches are highest among women (78% of searches) and 25-34s (37% of searches). 

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Search interest for “guttate psoriasis pictures” increased by 259% in the past 3 months, from June to August 2022

Search interest for “difference between psoriasis and ringworm” increased by 28% in the past 3 months, from June to August 2022

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5. Psoriasis and ringworm

There is a common misconception that psoriasis and ringworm are related. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition, while ringworm is caused by a fungal infection and can be cured through a simple treatment. 

However, the two do have similar symptoms, which include inflammation, and itchy, scaly and cracked skin. This is why the two conditions are so often confused for each other. 

In general, people seem to be going online to distinguish between psoriasis and conditions with which it shares symptoms – like ringworm and eczema. This suggests a desire to self-diagnose, which can lead to dangerous misdiagnoses. There is an opportunity to offer easily accessible telehealth services to those experiencing different skin conditions, to both alleviate patient anxiety early and prevent complications from ignoring or mistreating a condition. 

Psoriasis in Culture

The Culture Section highlights emerging cultural trends, new products, and notable dialogue about a variety of health conditions. The purpose of this section is to zoom in on what has been happening within the cultural and professional landscape of a particular health condition–stories that are often missed by quantitative searches.

By featuring influential social media items, patient discourse, professional dialogue, product innovations, and impactful news items, this section illuminates the lived experiences of many patients, while also providing a snapshot of the developments happening around them. 

Here, Quilt.AI offers a detailed and nuanced perspective of what is new and what is meaningful.

1. Experts encourage people to take psoriasis seriously

A number of prominent and experienced dermatologists are using TikTok to educate the public on psoriasis. They talk about what psoriasis is and what its symptoms are, and dispel myths about the condition. 

Critically, they also share the perspective that psoriasis should be seen and treated as possibly indicating broader systemic issues that impact organs other than the skin, and that left untreated, it can increase risk for serious conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Based on this, they advocate for early HCP consultation among people who experience the symptoms of psoriasis. 

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2. Life with psoriasis on TikTok

On TikTok, people with psoriasis are sharing their experiences with the condition, both as a way of venting their frustrations and as a way of providing support and encouragement to others who may have similar experiences. 

Many of the posts touch on the common misperceptions that psoriasis is infectious, and that it is a result of poor personal hygiene. As well, many posts use humor as a way of dealing with psoriasis symptoms that people find annoying, embarassing or unattractive. 

Posts about living with psoriasis can be found under hashtags like #psoriasisawareness, #psoriasiswarrior, and #psoriasissucks.

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@whitneyysimmons sending hugs to my autoimmune sisters 🫶🏼 #psoriasisawareness #psoriasislove #psoriasiswarrior @Aubreana Noble 💗 ♬ original sound - music>>>

3. TikToking about natural psoriasis remedies

TikTok contains plenty of advice about natural remedies that can alleviate psoriasis or prevent flare-ups. This advice encompasses tips about food, supplements and non-chemical topical products. 

Encouragingly, the dietary advice that people share to address psoriasis tends to echo information from credible, mainstream health resources. (This is not always the case across other health conditions). 

These posts are a great resource for psoriasis sufferers, who may find it reassuring to hear about these tips from others with the condition, and not just from experts who may feel a little distant from the day-to-day realities of living with psoriasis. 

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4. Reddit for all things psoriasis

People with psoriasis are using Reddit to exchange notes about many aspects of living with the condition. The largest community – r/Psoriasis – covers a wide range of topics, including treatment success stories, questions about treatments, natural remedies, self-care, and managing the social and emotional impacts of the condition. 

There are other, more specific subreddits about psoriasis as well, including for diet issues. Notably, there is a specific subreddit on the topic of dating with psoriasis (r/psoriasisdating); this – and some of the body image and mental health conditions discussed in the other forums – indicate an opportunity for a more holistic approach to treating psoriasis that touches on its broader lifestyle implications. 

5. Celebrities with psoriasis

Some celebrities – including a number whose physical attributes are central to their fame – have been open about their struggles with psoriasis. Sometimes, they even encourage others to stop hiding their condition by sharing images of themselves with no make-up or retouching.

Kim Kardashian is perhaps the best-known celebrity with psoriasis, but Cara Delevingne and Jonathan Van Ness are also among those who have discussed their psoriasis publicly. By doing this, they de-stigmatize the condition by educating the public and building empathy for those with the condition.