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More Than Skin Deep

More Than Skin Deep


46% of people with psoriasis have never heard of psoriatic arthritis[1] even though 30%[2] will go on to develop the potentially debilitating disease


Paul Walsh of RTE’s Doctors on Call launches More Than Skin Deep video series to educate people about the link between the two conditions


Dublin, 6th February, 2017: New research – launched today by the More than Skin Deep campaign – has revealed that 46%[1] of people with psoriasis have never heard of psoriatic arthritis. Yet, up to 30%[2] of the estimated 73,000[3] people with psoriasis in Ireland may go on to develop the inflammatory arthritis that can cause pain, swelling and damage to joints.[4] To address this, the More than Skin Deep campaign has developed a series of videos that provide information from experts on psoriatic arthritis including the signs and symptoms and how it can be managed. These videos are available on Arthritis Ireland and Janssen Ireland’s websites.

The videos are presented by Paul Walsh from RTE’s Doctor’s on Call and feature Marion Morrissey, who has psoriatic arthritis, Consultant Rheumatologist, Professor David Kane and Consultant Dermatologist, Dr Anne-Marie Tobin.

According to the new research 87% of people with psoriasis have not received any information on psoriatic arthritis and only 14% responded that they are well informed and know a lot about the condition.[1] However, 90% of people with psoriasis are interested in learning more about the inflammatory joint disease.[1]

“The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are quite different to those of psoriasis in that it’s a disease of joints rather than a disease of the skin. Those affected will experience swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints and will have difficulty moving their joints, particularly the hands, knees or feet”, said Prof David Kane, Consultant Rheumatologist, Trinity College Dublin, Tallaght Hospital and Beacon Hospital. “Early diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis is important. If we intervene and treat early we may be able to put the disease into remission and prevent permanent damage to the joints. I encourage everyone with psoriasis to watch the More than Skin Deep video series to understand the signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis so they can be diagnosed and treated early”.

Although the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis vary from person-to-person, many symptoms are common to other forms of arthritis and include:[4]

  • Thickening, discoloration and pitting of the nails
  • Stiff, painful, swollen joints. Psoriatic arthritis typically affects the ankle, knees, toes and lower back
  • Sausage-like swelling of the fingers or toes
  • Tenderness or pain where tendons or ligaments attach to bones. This commonly occurs at the heel or the bottom of the foot, but it can also occur in the elbow
  • Pain and swelling at the back of the heel
  • Eye inflammation (less frequent)

Marion Morrissey who was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2010 and is featured in the More Than Skin Deep videos said, “I was diagnosed with psoriasis at 15 and the condition worsened over the years, eventually covering 70% of my body. Then I noticed that my joints, particularly my hands, were sore and swollen – things like grabbing a hair brush and grasping the steering wheel of the car were increasingly difficult. The pain began to affect every part of my life as the larger joints became swollen and stiff as well. I was referred to a rheumatologist, who diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis and started me on my treatment journey. I was lucky in that there’s little permanent damage to my joints and my pain has reduced significantly meaning I can do the things I love, work full time and partake fully in family life”.

“Typically 85 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis will first have skin psoriasis. Psoriasis may start with some flaky patches, particularly at the back of the scalp, behind the ears or patches on the elbows. Then about ten years later up to 30% of psoriasis cases may go on to develop psoriatic arthritis”, said Dr Anne-Marie Tobin, Consultant Dermatologist, Tallaght Hospital. “It is important to remember that not everyone with psoriasis will develop arthritis but I do advise my patients to pay close attention and to speak to their doctor if they notice pain and swelling in joints or other symptoms of arthritis.”

“Awareness of psoriatic arthritis in Ireland is low yet it can have a profound effect on people’s lives, causing pain, discomfort and may reduce their ability to do the things they enjoy”, said John Church, CEO of Arthritis Ireland. “Part of our mission is to educate people so they can understand their condition, learn to manage it and reduce the impact it has on their lives. We encourage people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to watch the More than Skin Deep video series and contact Arthritis Ireland or their healthcare professional if they are concerned or have questions”.

“We are delighted to launch the More than Skin Deep campaign today, in partnership with Arthritis Ireland, to raise awareness of the link between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis,” said Dr Leisha Daly, Country Director, Janssen Ireland “We know from our research that 90% of people with psoriasis would be interested in learning more about psoriatic arthritis and we hope this campaign will equip them with the information they both want and need.”

To learn more about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, go to  and [YouTube channel link] to watch a series of three informational videos hosted by Paul Walsh:

  1. More than Skin Deep – interview with Marion Morrissey about her journey from psoriasis to psoriatic arthritis
  2. The Journey – Professor David Kane and Dr Anne-Marie Tobin talk about the link between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, including the signs, symptoms and how it is diagnosed
  3. Managing the Journey –  Professor David Kane and Dr Anne-Marie Tobin give advice on how best to manage the journey from psoriasis to psoriatic arthritis

Follow @JanssenIE and @Arthritisie to find out more. You can also log on to or phone the Arthritis Ireland helpline on 1890 252 846 for more information.




About the research

The quantitative research was carried out by Empathy Research between 8th and 9th September, 2016 using the Research Ideas Panel 2016. Empathy Research secured 153 responses from people with psoriasis which is a representative sample size considering the incidence rate in the general population.

About Janssen

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson is dedicated to addressing and solving the most important unmet medical needs of our time including oncology (e.g. multiple myeloma and prostate cancer), immunology (e.g. psoriasis), neuroscience (e.g. schizophrenia, dementia and pain), infectious disease (e.g. HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and tuberculosis), and cardiovascular and metabolic disease (e.g. diabetes). Driven by our commitment to patients, Janssen develops sustainable, integrated healthcare solutions by working side-by-side with healthcare stakeholders, based on partnerships of trust and transparency. More information about Janssen’s commitment in drug development can be found at

About Arthritis Ireland:

Little things can make a big difference to a person with arthritis. Difficulty with the little things like making a cup of tea, getting dressed or opening the front door can all add up to have a big impact on a person’s quality of life. At Arthritis Ireland we understand this. That is why we are Ireland’s only organisation working single-mindedly to transform the experience of people living with arthritis and those who care for them.   Every day, we work in communities across the country providing community based education programmes to help people effectively manage and control this devastating disease. We actively drive grassroots advocacy so that the voice of people with arthritis is heard and understood and we work with the medical community to control and cure arthritis. For more information visit or call our Helpline on 1890 252 846.


[1] Empathy Research of 153 psoriasis sufferers aged 18+. 8th – 19th September 2016

[2] National Psoriasis Foundation - Last accessed January 2016

[3] Irish Skin Foundation - Last accessed January 2016

[4] Arthritis Ireland. Living with psoriatic arthritis booklet Last accessed January 2014