For most, that is. Chris Griffiths, professor of dermatology at the University of Manchester, said that when he started treating psoriasis in the 1980s patients would repeat the same story. Their skin was fine and then their girlfriend left them, or their mother died, or similar, and now look. Robert Seville, an ahead-of-his-time dermatologist in the Lake District — “a classic clinical observer”, says Griffiths — made a careful log of psoriasis onset among his patients, discovering a significant association with traumatic life events. “It was very compelling,” Griffiths says.
“When so many patients say it, we felt we couldn’t ignore it. But the consensus was back then the way we measure these things were not robust enough.”