Novartis says “Be Pso Positive” about Psoriasis
Selangor, 29 October 2018: With an estimated 500,000 to 800,000 Malaysians suffering from psoriasis, five people living with psoriasis decided to step out of the shadows and bring psoriasis into the spotlight, in a bid to raise awareness on their condition in conjunction with World Psoriasis Day, celebrated every year on the 29th of October.
The ‘Be Pso Positive’ campaign, which is a collaboration between Novartis Corporation Malaysia, Psoriasis Association of Malaysia and True Complexion, sees five patients – Rocyie, Sofia, Patrina, Charles, and Aliff, reveal their hidden scars, that has distressed them for years, and how they have overcome it, while keeping the positivity.
“The first thing that anyone asks me when they see my patches is if it’s contagious. Despite explaining to them over and over again that it is not, I still feel the stigma when they hesitate to even shake my hand,” said Charles.
“Sometimes when the flare ups are bad and it’s all over my face, people would stare at me especially when I’m in public. I can’t help but feel self-conscious about my appearance, and that makes me just want to hide or stay at home, and not be seen,” said Aliff.
Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease, which affects the skin and it commonly appears as raised, red patches covered with silvery white build-up of dead skin cells and is often seen on the scalp, knees, elbows and lower back.
“I decided to participate in this photo shoot because I felt that I have allowed my condition to bring me down in the past. I don’t want to feel ashamed of my condition anymore and I want to inspire other patients to be positive about their condition as well,” said Rocyie.
A global survey conducted by Novartis entitled ‘Clear about Psoriasis’ revealed that nearly 40% of psoriasis patients also suffered from a psychological condition due to their skin disease.
“Some psoriasis patients also face depression and anxiety due to their condition, so it is possible for them to be impacted physically and emotionally. Hence, we should be aware of the challenges that they’ve faced and offer them our positive support. Patients should speak to their healthcare professionals and ask us what treatments are suitable for them,” said Dr Peter Ch’ng, a dermatologist.
Sofia, who has been suffering from Psoriasis for 25 years adds that with this photo shoot she hopes to encourage more psoriasis patients to be more positive about their life and seek professional help. “There are societies like the Psoriasis Association of Malaysia, who provides patient support and it is a group by patients and for the patients. Furthermore, you can always speak to your doctors or dermatologists about new ways to treat your condition,” she states.
“We hope that this campaign will inspire more psoriasis patients to speak up about their condition and be positive about it. Don’t lose hope!” said Patrina.
In addition to psoriasis patients being in front of the camera, the ‘Be Pso Positive’ photo shoot was also shot by a psoriasis patient, Raja.
“I am pleased to be part of this campaign and to showcase that psoriasis patients can do anything they set their mind on. Campaigns like these provide patients a platform to be who they are and spread the positivity to others like them,” Raja adds.
“As a follow-up to our ‘Let’s Be Clear about Psoriasis’ campaign earlier this year, we are pleased to continue supporting psoriasis patients and raising awareness about the challenges that they face. We want them to know that hope is not lost and that there are treatments available that have shown positive results, said Patrik Grande, President and Managing Director for Novartis Malaysia and Brunei.