What Are the Effects of Port Wine Stains on Quality of Life?
Chronic skin conditions have a well-documented effect of patient’s quality of life (QoL). Even if the condition does not cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as with alopecia and vitiligo, previous research has shown significant effects on QoL, especially psychological well-being and social isolation.
A recent study hypothesized that patients with Port Wine Stains (PWS) would report similar effects on QoL measures as have previously been demonstrated for patients with other visible skin conditions. The authors hypothesized that the distinct appearance of PWS and their location on patient’s faces might significantly impact a person’s psychosocial development and well-being. They note that the face is intimately associated with personal identity and social interactions.
The study surveyed 244 patients using Skindex-29, a widely used and validated dermatology-specific QoL questionnaire that addresses 3 independent domains: emotions, symptoms, and functioning. The results showed that PWS had a negative impact on patient QoL. Patients with depression, comorbid skin conditions, associated hypertrophy, decreased facial mobility, bilateral PWS, non-Caucasian race, and fewer close friends were more likely to show reduced QoL.
PWS most significantly influenced the emotion domain in the survey and younger patients fared worse than their older counterparts who may have developed coping strategies. The authors conclude that this study shows that similar to other visible skin conditions, these diseases can profoundly influence a person’s emotional and physical well-being. The authors state that dermatologists should inquire about QoL, in order to provide appropriate support and resources for patients with PWS.
Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C
Posted: May 31, 2017
Adapted from the original article.
[Image: DermNet New Zealand]