CSPA launches new tool in recognition of the Canadian Dermatology Association's 86th Annual Conference

EDMONTON, June 23, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - Dermatologists from across Canada are meeting today to discuss research to help people with skin conditions, diseases and traumas as part of the Canadian Dermatology Association's (CDA) 86th Annual Conference. In recognition of this conference, the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance (CSPA) is launching a new self-evaluation tool to help Canadians identify whether they need to see a dermatologist to discuss their skin disease, new treatments and ways they might improve their condition.

About 30 per cent of Canadians struggle with some kind of skin disease. Of these, the majority feel self-conscious, embarrassed, frustrated and unattractive because of their condition, which can lead to serious psychological repercussions and even depression.1  In one of the most severe skin conditions, psoriasis, 78 per cent of patients are frustrated with their treatment and 60 per cent specify that their condition is a serious problem in their daily lives.2,3

Why are so many patients living with these frustrations? Chronic sufferers, such as those with psoriasis and eczema, often fall into a cycle of low expectations and poor adherence to prescribed treatments, not realizing the need to actively manage their condition and assert greater control over their treatment plan.

"Thousands of Canadians are missing out on life because they believe that they need to tolerate their symptoms and adjust their activities for the rest of their lives," explains Christine Janus from the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance (CSPA), an organization that assists Canadian skin patients through education, support and advocacy.  "This is just not the case. People should research their options, be proactive about treating their skin condition and talk with their dermatologist."

"Life-long sufferers tend to become complacent with their condition and just accept the painful and visible scales, lesions and other manifestations of skin diseases as inevitable rather than seeking better options," says Dr. Jerry Tan, dermatologist. "This new tool will help patients to reflect on their long-term condition and determine if they could be getting more out of treatment."

Dermatologists prescribe treatments that can significantly improve many chronic skin diseases. Yet, patients must ask for help and not accept that their skin disease is something they should just live with. Unfortunately, the majority of Canadians with any kind of skin disease are afraid to ask their doctor for a change even when they are stressed and unhappy with their current skin condition.  Because there is a shortage of dermatologists in Canada, it is important that patients make their visits count - this CSPA tool can help.

More information about many prevalent skin diseases and other useful tools can be found at the award winning CSPA website: Information about psoriasis can be found at the CSPA's psoriasis-specific site:

This project was made possible through the support of MERCK and its affiliates in Canada.

About the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance

Founded in 2007, the CSPA provides education, information, an online supportive community, and opportunities to create and join local support groups for all Canadian skin patients. The CSPA also works with physicians and researchers to augment their ability to serve those grappling with issues of the skin.


1 McNamara D., 2008. Quality-of-life impact significant in psoriasis: Canadian survey finds that only 24% of respondents reported satisfaction with their current treatment. [Online] Clinical Psychiatry News. Available at: <> [Accessed March 21, 2011]
2 . Krueger G, Koo J, Lebwohl M, et al., 2001. The impact of psoriasis on quality of life: results of a 1998 National Psoriasis Foundation patient membership survey. Arch Dermatol , 137, pp.280-284
3Lynde CW, Poulin Y, Guenther L, Jackson C., 2009.The burden of psoriasis in Canada: insights from the pSoriasis Knowledge IN Canada (SKIN) survey. J Cutan Med Surg. Sep-Oct, 13(5), pp.235-52

SOURCE Canadian Skin Patient Alliance

For further information:

Media Contact:
Kara Euale
Hill & Knowlton Canada
T: 416.413.4695

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