Psoriasis is a debilitating skin condition requiring long-term management. The half a million people in Japan living with psoriasis also face stigma and discrimination due to the misconception that it is contagious – even the Japanese word for psoriasis (KANSEN) means contagious. It also impacts on patients’ opportunity to receive optimal treatment, as they can be less proactive in seeking medical advice and support.
In 2018 we launched a public awareness campaign aimed at challenging these misconceptions and addressing barriers. The campaign was built around the Japanese word HIKANSEN – which has a double meaning of ‘not contagious’ and ‘be optimistic’ – using experiential PR to foster empathy and understanding among key audiences.