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Psoriasis: A stress induced disease and its management


In 2016, CNN international news anchor and Kenya’s very own Zain Vergee penned a letter and post on psoriasis a disease that had ravaged her skin since she was 8 years old.

In her posts, Zain says;

I have fish-like scales. There are tiny red islands floating on the surface of my skin. They combine to create continents with jagged surfaces. They turn black and start to smell. There is blood and pus.

Cause of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects the immune system leading to mass overproduction of cells.

It affects a type of white blood cell called the T cell which is responsible for protection against infection and disease.

The disease is triggered by stressful conditions and maintained by an unhealthy lifestyle.

Zain Vergee, in her search for healing, finds it at a South African clinic. There is no drugs but wait for it; food.

Strict diet and lifestyle followed with military zeal.

Other causes that can trigger the disease apart from stress are diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, heart problems, depression, isolation and low self-esteem.

Related: More Kenyans suffering from bipolar disorder, the need to address it

However, with the jagged, ragged, flaky and white appearance of the skin, it is difficult not to have low self-esteem or isolate yourself.

With the jagged, ragged, flaky and white appearance of the skin, it is difficult not to have low self-esteem: Photo / Courtesy
Tulivu stress management consultancy

The former Kenyan High Commissioner to Namibia and Psoriasis ambassador, Rose Jebiwott Boit, recalls how she first noticed the condition of her skin due to work induced stress which began at her right scalp and spread through the entire body.

Her journey in providing this consultancy started when she was admitted for a week from Psoriasis complications.

Her aim is to help reduce and manage stress so as to reduce its spillover effect to other aspects of life and its introduction into the body through various ailments.

She also aims to create awareness of the skin conditions as a Psoriasis ambassador.

Global statistics

Most breakouts or flare ups are stress induced, thus the need to manage and reduce stress whether you have been diagnosed with Psoriasis or not.

3 out of 1100 people globally suffer from the disease and the disease also has a genetic link thus some people or patients are genetically predisposed in having psoriasis.

Related: Is Keloid scar a serious medical condition?

According to WHO, patients suffering from Psoriasis have a higher risk of suffering from stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

Mind, body and soul

Stress has been found to be the major cause of the flare ups; in this regard it is therefore important to avoid stress, self-criticism, work overload and lack of sleep all have the ability to stress the body.

Learning how to manage our stressor is a key thing as stress is part of life, and thus we need to work on a whole some body, looking to attain EQ (Emotional Quotient) and strict dietary regiments as prescribed by the doctors.

EQ helps us in how we react to situations and how much we allow them to affect our bodies.

By Serah Nderi


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