Male Psoriasis Patients More Prone to Erectile Dysfunction

MARCH 29, 2016
Amy Jacob
Men afflicted with psoriasis are more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
 
Additionally, a recent study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research revealed male psoriasis patients have a higher chance of developing sexual difficulties if they are depressed or have other health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure.
 
Suyun Ji, MD, Guangdong Provincial Dermatology Hospital, Guangzhou, China, and colleagues studied sexual function in 191 men with psoriasis and 191 without.
 
The team found that 53% of the men with psoriasis reported erectile dysfunction compared with only 40% from the control group.
 
Of the psoriasis group, 20% with erectile dysfunction described their condition as mild, while only 6% reported it as severe.
 
According to Ji, “When men with psoriasis do develop erectile dysfunction, they may be able to improve their sexual health by keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels in a healthy range and getting screening and any needed treatment for depression.”
 
Ji urged these patients to pay attention to their blood pressure, blood lipids, glucose level, and psychological state.
 
Interestingly, men with more severe depression were also susceptible to severe erectile dysfunction. 
 
The researchers said that men with psoriasis were often obese or had other cardiovascular risk factors that could restrict blood flow to extremities, including the penis.
 
Furthermore, psoriasis can develop on the penis, undoubtedly causing pain and discomfort during sex, so these men could also suffer from body image or psychological issues that could negatively affect their sexual performance.
 
According to the experts, psychological impairment of the disease including anxiety and embarrassment of their body because of the psoriasis plaques could unfortunately reduce sexual desire and concentration, thereby developing erectile dysfunction.
 
The team acknowledged the study’s size limitation and will work on further research, including studies with randomly selected participants.
 
While screening is essential for the cardiovascular patients, the authors also concluded, “Patients with psoriasis already carry a higher than average risk of cardiovascular disease, so they should strictly follow standard public health advice about maintaining a healthy body weight and exercise levels, stop smoking, and reduce alcohol intake.”
 


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