Dubai, 19 December, 2017 – The Emirates Dermatology Society (EDS) and Novartis, launched today ‘Skin To Live In’ - a campaign bringing hope and inspiration to people living with psoriasis, one of the world’s most prevalent autoimmune skin disorders, and creating greater public awareness.
“Psoriasis is a common, non-contagious, autoimmune disease that affects about one adult in 50, or 125 million people worldwide, making it one of the most common autoimmune skin disorders,” said Dr. Anwar Al Hammadi, President of EDS. “It is not simply a cosmetic problem, but a persistent, chronic condition caused by skin cells multiplying up to 10 times faster than normal. Their sheer volume results in red, scaly patches that can lead to pain, discomfort and even psychological problems that can severely impact patients’ lives.”
“Although there are several forms of the disease, the most common is plaque psoriasis - affecting more than 80 percent of patients - which is characterized by often painful and itchy raised, red patches and silvery white colored dead skin cells visible on the skin’s surface,” added Al Hammadi. “For many psoriasis patients, the road to diagnosis is long and involves trying various therapies to manage their symptoms. Treatment options include topical creams, oral pills, phototherapy and biologics - the most recent and effective form of therapy.”
“Psoriasis is a common, yet often misunderstood condition. We are very proud to launch ‘Skin to Live In’, and we thank our partners at EDS whose valuable collaboration has made this a truly all-encompassing endeavor, harnessing stakeholder efforts to inspire patients to break free from the challenges of living with psoriasis,” said Mohamed EzzEldin, Head of the Gulf Cluster at Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
“Our top priority is to advance patient care and the best way to do this is to give those affected a voice and platform to share their concerns and to work with the community to challenge the status quo. ‘Skin to Live In’ is a pioneering platform allowing people living with psoriasis to connect and support each other in a multitude of ways.” he added.
“A unique feature of ‘Skin to Live In’ is the Derm Finder available on the website mena.skintolivein.com. It helps patients locate their nearest specialized dermatologists who can provide them with guidance on treatment options that best suit their individual condition, lifestyle and treatment objectives,” Dr. Al Hammadi said. “We hope to see many dermatologists register their practices on Derm Finder to become more easily accessible to people living with psoriasis. Our goal is for patients to feel comfortable enough to communicate their hopes and fears and inspire them to seek treatment options that could transform their lives.”
Ahmed Zaza shared first-hand experience about living with and overcoming psoriasis, “Psoriasis was a tremendous burden to live with, one that I have fought for many years, and still fight. My family’s great support was the number one factor that helped me overcome so many challenges. By finding the right dermatologist and right treatment, I am now finally able to control my psoriasis instead of having it control my life. Today I chose to speak up and share my story to let others know that there is hope,” he said.
The Emirates Dermatology Society plays a key role in the continuous improvement in the quality of dermatology services in the UAE and the wider region. It has an active management committee that oversee the day to day running of the organization and brings together dermatologists in the UAE so they can share their experiences and knowledge with their colleagues.
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 118,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 countries around the world.