Living well with psoriasis

Mental Health


Psoriasis may be a systemic disease, but it packs a pretty powerful emotional punch. When you're experiencing a flare-up, it's normal to cycle through frustration, self-consciousness, and sadness. Then, when your psoriasis is in remission, you may experience anxiety over its unpredictability. While there's no one simple solution for coping everywhere, there are strategies for dealing with it in various social situations.

At work. Avoiding explaining a flare-up at work may prolong misconceptions. Mention how you don't want anyone to be distracted by what they see on your skin. Explain what psoriasis is that it is often hereditary, and how it is not contagious or infectious, but it is uncomfortable and annoying. However, make it clear it will not affect your performce.
Tip: Be upbeat, upfront, and open. Others will appreciate your courage and follow your lead. Psoriasis is nothing to be ashamed about.

At home. Those you live with will not be unaware of your feelings as you cope with psoriasis. Open up, and let your family know the emotional impact that psoriasis has on you. This creates an important support structure.
Tip: Consider talking to a professional if you find you're experiencing consistently down days or a lack of control about how you relate to the disease.

In a new relationship. While psoriasis symptoms are not always present, the longer you put off explaining your disease to a new partner, the more anxious you will feel about explaining existing hidden or future flare-ups. That said, there may not be a need to discuss your psoriasis until you feel a serious relationship might develop or you plan to be intimate.
Tip: Before you're intimate, initiate a light, mood-setting conversation to make it more comfortable. If you find feelings about your psoriasis are disrupting your relationships, bring it up with a health care provider.

In public. You know the best strategy for dispelling concerns is to educate others. But maybe you're fed up with being a psoriasis spokesperson. On those days when you just don't have the energy to deal with stares or questions, wear loose fitting long sleeves, pants, or turtlenecks as they will not tug on your skin and cause irritation. Clothing made from satin, linen, or cotton are breathable and preferred.
Tip: Flakes will be less noticeable on light-coloured or patterned clothing.

Finally, no matter the situation, don't let psoriasis symptoms get between you and a healthy life. Regularly review your psoriasis treatment efficacy with your health care team.

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