Some NHS care for the skin condition psoriasis is seriously lacking, a report has found.
The report from The Royal College of Physicians and the British Association of Dermatologists found that care was inconsistent and that there is a lack of specialist nurses, psychological support and access to new drugs.
Here are a selection of your comments:
I've had psoriasis for over ten years, it affects most of my body, including my hands and face. I recently had to persuade my GP to refer me for UV light therapy, which I researched myself, only to be talked out of it by the specialist. I have never been asked how psoriasis makes me feel or been referred to a dermatologist or nutritionist.
Ed Ford, London
I have had severe psoriasis since childhood. It affects every aspect of my life and I suffer from depression and anxiety. Psoriasis is not taken seriously enough, despite the devastating and debilitating effects on sufferers and their families. It is not acceptable for a person newly diagnosed with psoriasis to wait months to see a specialist.
Psoriasis patient, UK
I have had psoriasis since I was 15 and have had locum GPs prescribe completely inappropriate treatments for it. I have been seen at a dermatology clinic and was offered light treatment but could not afford the travel costs, as you have to be there two or three times a week. Unfortunately, I developed psoriatic arthritis and spent years on the cheaper drugs that treat it, with hideous side-effects. At no point was there any attempt to co-ordinate my care between dermatology and rheumatology - something I would have thought was critical.
I must be one of the more fortunate ones. I am monitored regularly by the consultant and specialist nurse and have been receiving the new biologic treatment for 18 months. The results are excellent and the care has been exemplary.
Sue White, Newton Abbot, UK
I am 42 years old and have suffered with psoriasis since I was four. The level of care in Cumbria is appalling, they are using the same crude tar and salicylic acid treatment now that I received when I was a child. If you tell them how depressed you are they tell you it's only a flare up, put on the creams and basically shut up and go away. I totally believe the stated one in ten think of suicide. I've been there myself.
Linda, Workington, Cumbria
My GP just does not know how to deal with my psoriasis. He is not sympathetic to the problems it causes me, and has prescribed treatments which were totally unsuitable and not meant for the face, leaving me with horrible burns. He has never discussed the option of seeing a specialist.
Anon, London, UK
Having had psoriasis for at least 20 years, I find that the treatment available is very limited. There seem to be only two types of ultra violet therapy (which can lead to premature skin aging and are also a cause of skin cancer) and a course of drugs to suppress the immune system, which I personally refused to take. I live with my psoriasis now, having found that I see it more than others do.
James, Bagshot, Surrey
I had a serious outbreak of psoriasis in 1990 and spent two weeks in a skin hospital in Stockport. The only treatment they could give were creams to suppress the condition which were more or less impossible to use at home. Someone suggested to me that I try homeopathy and this improved the condition 95 percent. It really was amazing.
Richard Dalton, New Mills
I have received excellent treatment from my GP and the dermatologists that I been referred to. At no point in time have I ever been declined any treatment and my notes are very extensive. Patients do need to be patient though, it has taken me 20 years to discover the best treatment that works for me.
Stacey Parsons, Aldershot, Hampshire
I am 53 and have had psoriasis since I was nine years old. I have always found the NHS to be totally uninterested in my condition. When I have gone to a doctor regarding my psoriasis I felt I was nothing but a nuisance. I tend to treat my self as best I can but find it very expensive.
Susan Marr, Morpeth
I've had psoriasis for a number of years and had my first hospital stay last summer in Glasgow's Southern General Hospital. The nursing staff were top class and seemed to know exactly what they were doing. There were also a number of patients on biologics too, the doctors didn't seem to mind prescribing them when other treatments had failed.
Tim Farrell, Glasgow
I have chronic psoriasis and it can be very difficult to live with. You wear long shirts and trousers in the summer because you don't want people to see your arms and legs and your skin feels permanently tight. I managed to get myself onto a clinical trial for one of the new biological treatments. When that finished, my Primary Care Trust approved the drug for permanent use, but that took six months. Getting approval is the real battle, as you have to have gone through a long list of other treatments before they'll even consider you.
Mark Schofield, Sussex
There is a lack of information and support for sufferers. It affects not just your physical health but also your mental health as there are times that you really don't want to face the world.
The biggest problem that I have encountered is getting treatment! The last time that I had a bad bout of psoriasis I went to see my GP and was told that I would have to wait 18 months to see a specialist. I then asked about going private and was seen by a specialist that Friday. There are not enough doctors to treat skin conditions, it is dreadful that I had to pay to receive the care that I needed.
After perhaps a year trying different steroid creams prescribed by my GP with little effect, I finally received an appointment to see a dermatologist. The appointment was brief and I was given a tub of coal tar. This was completely useless as it simply slipped off my hands. As an alternative I tried homeopathy for a year with some success and I am now seeing a herbalist. I would rather pay for the alternative treatment I have sought.
Adrian Jenkins, Edinburgh