Put Malaysia On The Global Psoriasis Map

Be Joint Smart: A coalition of Arthritis Foundation and National Psoriasis Foundation

Psoriasis is a global health challenge 125 million people worldwide have psoriasis, yet psoriasis remains a largely hidden disease. Speak up for psoriasis on World Psoriasis Day, October 29

This World Psoriasis Day, October 29, you can help put psoriasis on the map. Add your pin and share your story and photos to raise awareness and get psoriasis on the international agenda.

Put psoriasis on the map »

Campaign Material – Ads, Postcards & Posters

World Psoriasis Day 2012 is being organised by the  IFPA.  As part of this global campaign, the IFPA has prepared many campaign material that people with Psoriasis can use to champion the cause for Psoriasis. Malaysians have been asked to be part of this Global Campaign & have your photo taken with the speech bubble (Click here to read and take action)

You may download any of the following ads, postcards and posters & have them printed. Make use of them to create awareness and understanding about Psoriasis in your workplace, university, school or community.  Some ideas for using these material include sticking posters on noticeboards in universities, sending a postcard to a key influencer or placing the advertisement in hospitals or medical clinics.





For more information – please contact us via email.

Preventing The Growth Of Blood Vessels That Feed A Tumor – Could It Help Psoriasis?

William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game.William Li heads the Angiogenesis Foundation, a nonprofit that is re-conceptualizing global disease fighting.

What has this got to do with Psoriasis? Well in his presentation at TED, psoriasis was listed as one of the diseases where “Angiogenesis is Out Of Balance”. Psoriasis is classified on the list as “Excessive”. Watch the video below to find out more.

What You Eat Or Don’t Eat May Improve Your Psoriasis

Dr Bagel explains how to possibly improve your Psoriasis with our food and exercise choices.

The National Psoriasis Association of America recently had a webcast by Dr Jerry Bagel.

Dr Bagel is a medical director at the Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central New Jersey and a USA national expert on psoriasis. He has served on the national psoriasis association medical board. Should you be interested in more webcasts, sign up on the website (www.psoriasis.org) and visit the list of webcasts here.

The following information are excerpts from Dr Bagel’s talk during the webcast. For the full talk, please view the links below.

Psoriasis patients with severe psoriasis have extra billions of T cells in you skin that produce chemicals and make your epidermis grow too quickly. Molecules such as TNF not only cause the growth of epidermis, also increase Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

Pro inflammatory molecules are in people with psoriasis that doesn’t only cause psoriasis but can bring on the co morbidities such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension – 3 to 4 times more than normal people. It increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Certain drugs make psoriasis worse – systemic steroids, beta blockers. Other medical conditions such as strep infections or earache can also make the psoriasis much worse.

30% of people who have psoriasis may develop psoriatic arthritis. This usually occurs 10 years after the onset of psoriasis. Some symptoms – Do you have stiffness in fingers or toes when you wake up in the morning? Another symptom is pain under your feet.

Fat in itself produces increase of TNF (Tumor necrosis factors) and this produces more T Cells. These are produced in the white blood cells. The more obese you are, the more psoriasis you will have and also likely to develop more of the co- morbidities.

Alcohol is terrible for psoriasis as it opens up the bloods vessels to the skin. More white blood skills then can get to the skin. White blood cells are making the chemicals that make your skin grow to quickly. When drinking alcohol, you are fueling the psoriasis pathway.

Compared with the general population, people with psoriasis have a higher
prevalence of:

Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Crohn’s disease
Metabolic syndrome

What can we do to minimise the inflammation:

1) Good food – Decrease pro-inflammatory condition
2) Good exercise – Decrease weight

“Eliminate processed foods”

Processed foods are turning right into sugar.
The sugar is turning right into fat.
Fat is turning into pro inflammatory molecules which will increase atherosclerosis
and risk of heart attack.

Cut out the red meat and switch to salmon. Get away from sugary foods, flour
and white rice (Note: Which is very difficult when eating out especially in Malaysia or Asia).

Dr Bagel also talks about the elimination of gluten which may help certain people
with psoriasis.

For more in-depth information, visit the National Psoriasis Association of America by clicking here or DOWNLOAD THE WEBCAST BY RIGHT CLICKING HERE & SAVE. Note: File format is WMV.

Meet The Composer Of “Don’t Look At Me That Way (The Psoriasis Song)”

Ray is the original composer and singer of “Don’t Look At Me That Way”

Recently via Facebook, we were in contact with Ray Chua who lives in Singapore.  Ray had written a song about Psoriasis. We knew we had to find out more about what inspired Ray to compose such a song. This was also the opportunity to ask Ray a few questions about his psoriasis. The YouTube videos are located at the bottom of this post.

1. When you first discovered you had Psoriasis, how did you feel?

Ray: I didn’t feel so good I guess, especially when I found out that I had to deal with it for a lifetime. I was also a little scared cause there was so little information about it. Back then, the Internet was not filled with info about the disease as there is now. I was diagnosed with Psoriasis 13 years ago.

2. What are the challenges you face while having psoriasis?

Ray: Here are a couple of challenges:

a)      How people view my psoriasis when they look at my nails, face, hands and legs. Psoriasis brings upon self esteem issues.

b)      No spas and massages for me because every one of them will freak out when they see my body.

c)      No swimming because the ignorant lifeguards (not enough awareness created) would come to me and ask me to leave the swimming pool. They are worried because in their mind, I have a contagious skin disease and will cause the public (other people in the pool such as kids and mothers) to vacate the pool. At first I thought it was a good idea after all – I could have the pool all to myself! Later on, I realized I would become the talk of the pool so I decided not to go back there. I am wondering if Malaysian beaches are cleaner? The beaches in Singapore are not very appealing so I stay off the sea as well (Editor’s note: Yes Ray, Malaysia has very clean beaches if you know where to look. We would advise not to swim in Malaysian waters during jelly fish season as this could severely affect your psoriasis if stung).

d)      I always have to moisturize & to keep my skin from being dry (as it would cause pain).

e)      Scratching and flaking constantly. I dislike being a public and home nuisance as people have to clean up after me.

3. What is your source of strength and inspiration in order to overcome or manage your psoriasis?

Ray: As I’m a Christian, it is Jesus. I know that whatever I’m going through, it cannot be compared to the pain and torture Jesus went through to ensure my place in heaven. This is our Christian belief. Claiming His promises from the bible helped too.

4. How did the idea of writing a song about Psoriasis come along? Was it difficult to compose the lyrics and music?

Ray: I figured it was not others fault if they don’t know what Psoriasis is. So I decided to do my part in raising awareness after I read an article on Channel News Asia about a 13 year old Malay girl who was being discriminated by her classmates in school. I cannot imagine how she would be feeling apart from feeling really sad. Since I had some time on my hands now, I decided to write a song about it.

It was not difficult because I was totally inspired to write a song about psoriasis. When the inspiration came, I just let the feelings flow and out came the music. The lyrics were pretty much what I felt – so it was easy. There is an English and Chinese version.

The Chinese version and the filming of the music video were done by my girlfriend (with no prior experience with filming). Getting this done altogether was something we could do together as it was for a good cause.

5. Do you have any encouraging words about fighting psoriasis that you would like to share with others?

Ray: Be confident about ourselves. No matter how we look – we are a creation beautifully crafted by God. Any imperfections are only trials on Earth to mould us to be stronger and better people.
In the meantime, try to “de stress” and watch our diets (if this affects your psoriasis) so that we can get into remission while waiting for a cure. Don’t worry, be happy! Come and like my psoriasis page where I will be posting more Psoriasis tips and discover some of my music at http://www.facebook.com/raychua.pso

God bless you all & do support Psoriasis awareness.

 Editor: Ray, we wish you all the best and thanks so much for sharing your story & music with us.

English Version: The Psoriasis Song (Original) (Don’t Look At Me That Way) by Ray Chua

Chinese Version: 别和我说再见 [牛皮癣歌] (The Psoriasis Song Chinese Version)

New Biologic For Psoriasis Launched In Malaysia

Article From The Star 08 April 2012

A ‘new’ drug for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis is now available in Malaysia.

OFTEN mistaken as a mere cosmetic nuisance, psoriasis has a considerable impact on both the mental and physical well-being of patients.

In most cases, psoriasis sufferers spend a lot of time hiding, literally, beneath clothing, and avoiding social situations due to discomfort and embarrassment.

It is a long-lasting, non-contagious, and often misunderstood disease. Many who endure this condition are unaware of what it is and how it is caused. Here’s a definition for clarification.

Dr Chow explaining how ustekinumab works at the recent launch of the drug in Malaysia.

Psoriasis is a common skin disease that affects the lifecycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, forming thick silvery scales, and itchy, dry red patches that are sometimes painful.

Normal skin cells mature and shed in an ongoing cycle of 28 to 30 days. In psoriasis, skin cells mature in just three or four days. When psoriasis is severe, it can grow over large areas of the body.

Generally, the severity of psoriasis can be evaluated by body coverage:

·Severe psoriasis – more than 10% of the body

·Moderate psoriasis – from 3% to 10%

·Mild psoriasis – less than 3%

The degree of severity can also be measured by a tool called The Psoriasis Area & Severity Index, also known as PASI. This tool is a measure of the average redness, thickness and scaliness of lesions weighted by the area of involvement.

“I have been working with patients who suffer from moderate-to-severe psoriasis for many years, and I’ve seen how the disease affects patients’ relationships and their sense of self-esteem. Psoriasis patients are also at increased risk for other diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and myocardial infarction,” said Dr Steven Chow Kim Weng, honorary medical adviser for the Psoriasis Association of Malaysia.

For those who believe psoriasis is genetically induced, you are not entirely wrong. As with many genetically influenced diseases, psoriasis tends to run in families.

Contrary to popular belief, hygiene is not a trigger for the onset of psoriasis. However, there are certain lifestyle factors that are often involved in the prevalence of psoriasis. These include heavy smoking, alcohol consumption, dietary preferences and excessive weight gain.

Managing psoriasis starts with accepting and acknowledging it as a chronic condition. Patients sometimes may not realise the severity of their condition and may mistake the issue as an allergic reaction, dry skin or a passing phase.

Especially for patients who suffer from moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, it is important to seek professional help from a doctor who can diagnose the condition and advise the most suitable treatment option to alleviate the condition.

Diagnosis is usually made after careful examination of the skin, followed by a biopsy. It is crucial for the patient to discuss treatment options with their doctor or dermatologist to determine which would be the optimal treatment for him/her.

Some of the treatment options include:

1. Topical treatment: creams, gels, lotions, sprays and shampoos.

2. Phototherapy: sunlight, UVB phototherapy, pulsed dye laser, combination light therapy.

3. Conventional systemic treatment: methotrexate, cyclosporine, hydroxyurea and retinoids pills.

It is important to remember that treatment options are personalised – they depend on the patients’ age, health, and also, the severity of the disease.

In moderate to severe psoriasis, the above options may not be as effective, and some patients may be contra-indicated or intolerated to these treatments. For such cases, the use of biologics is increasingly becoming a viable treatment option.

Biologics are derived from natural proteins found in living cells. Currently, all biologics used for the treatment of psoriasis must be injected. Biologics work by targeting the underlying cause of psoriasis – excessive skin cell growth due to an overactive immune system.

Pharmaceutical company Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson Sdn Bhd, recently launched ustekinumab – a prescription-based biologics drug to manage moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. It is the only biologics treatment for psoriasis available with a quarterly dosage (every 12 weeks), or as few as four injections per year, following two starter doses.

The drug has received approval in 57 countries for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis patients above 18 years of age. Administered by subcutaneous injection, ustekinumab is indicated to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis patients who have failed to respond to, or who have a contraindication to, or are intolerant to conventional systemic therapy.

According to two large phase 3 studies (PHOENIX 1 and PHOENIX 2), which involved a total of approximately 2,000 patients, at least two thirds of patients showed at least 75% clearer skin, as measured by PASI, at 12 weeks, after two injections of ustekinumab. Findings from these studies also showed that every 12-week dosing with the drug effectively maintains substantial skin clearance in most patients.

Ustekinumab is a prescription medicine that may affect activities of the immune system, and like all medicines, it can result in side effects, although not every patient will experience them. The most common side effects reported include upper respiratory tract infections and nasopharyngitis.

“Before receiving ustekinumab, it is imperative that patients visit their dermatologists for a thorough medical check-up. The medicine is not for everyone, and only a doctor can decide whether it’s right for an individual,” said Dr Chow.

> This educational article is contributed by Janssen. Janssen provides this information for educational and communication purposes only. It should not be construed as medical advice. Information in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding individual medical care.
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2011 World Psoriasis Day Initiative: Interview On BFM 89.9 Radio

This World Psoriasis Day, the radio station BFM 89.9 brings us an interview that features both sides of the story. We take a look at the technical, medical details of Psoriasis as well as the personal, humane side of those who have to live with the symptoms and understands the diseases and problems more intimately even than those who treat them. Listen to Dr. Suganthi Thevarajah, a senior consultant dermatologist, as well as from Mr. Eugene Clifford Cross, who has lived with psoriasis for over 40 years. Click here to download the podcast

Exposed – A Film About Coming To Terms With Psoriasis


Watch a new documentary that was funded by a grant from Leo Pharma called Exposed - A Film About Coming To Terms With Psoriasis. Directed by James Routh (UK filmmaker), the documentary has Rena Ramani (first diagnosesd at age 13) being interviewed and then goes to meet other psoraisis patients to understand how psoriasis has affected their lives.

A particularly interesting segment is when Dr Stevens (who is involved in assessing General Practice training) also volunteers to have himself made up (via makeup) to have psoriasis on his head and face. He then goes out to meet everday people on the street and experiences first hand, how people react to his psoriasis.

Watch online or download the film here

Scalp Psoriasis Overview By Dr Steven Chow on BFM 89.9

BFM_logoScalp psoriasis is often mistaken for either ordinary dandruff or seborrhoeic dermatitis. Find out what the actual differences are and explore recommended treatments with Dr Steven Chow, Secretary General of Asian Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and Hon. Medical Advisor of the Malaysia Psoriasis Asssociation.

Dr Steven Chow also reveals  details about Psoriasis treatment including mentioning that Psoriasis should be labelled as “immunological  based” vs describing Psoriasis as an “auto immune” disease. Click here to listen via streaming online or download the podcast.