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NICE: Updated psoriasis guidelines

Adults with psoriasis should be offered a cardiovascular risk assessment at least every five years, NICE guidance suggests. 

Updated quality standards state that people with psoriasis should also be offered an annual assessment for psoriatic arthritis. 

More than 1.3 million people in the UK are living with psoriasis, which mainly develops in people under 35 years old. 

The incurable irritable skin condition is caused by a faulty immune system. 

Professor Gillian Leng, director of health and social care at NICE said: “People who have it are more prone to low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. 

“While there are a range of effective treatments available, not everyone has the same access to them.”

People with psoriasis should be offered an assessment of the impact of the disease on physical, psychological and social wellbeing at diagnosis, NICE suggests.

One in seven people with psoriasis goes on to develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints if left untreated. 

NICE recommends that people with the condition are offered an annual assessment for psoriatic arthritis. 

David Chandler, chief executive of the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance said: “Psoriasis can be a very lonely and isolating disease, which goes beyond just treating the skin. As someone who has had psoriasis for more than 35 years, I fully understand the issues faced by people with the condition. 

“Creating a clear set of standards will start to provide greater awareness and understanding of the needs and associated health problems people with psoriasis will face, particularly when initially diagnosed at primary care level.”

Other quality statements for the irritable skin condition include: 

 - People with psoriasis should be offered an assessment of disease severity at diagnosis and when response to treatment is assessed. 

 -  People with psoriasis should be referred for assessment by a dermatology specialist if needed.

The full quality standard is available on the NICE website