I’ve had psoriasis for over four years now and have had to deal with my fair share of psoriasis flare-ups. I was diagnosed during my fourth year of university, during a time when going out with friends was an important part of my life. I found that my flare-ups had a big impact on my social life.

Psoriasis doesn’t care about your social life or what you have planned. Mine actually tends to flare when I have something I am really, really looking forward to. Letting friends down is something I hate to do. I’ve often found myself not wanting to head out during a flare-up, or making plans that involved comfortable clothing and minimal effort.

I always try to help my friends understand what I’m going through when my psoriasis gets the best of me. Here are three texts I’ve sent during a psoriasis flare-up.

Sometimes, if the flare-up is really bad, I just want to crawl into a lukewarm bath with lots of Epsom salt, and then smother myself in moisturizer before crawling into bed with a movie and some psoriasis-friendly snacks.

Cancelling on your friends isn’t great, but if you can help them realize what you’re going through with your psoriasis, hopefully they’ll understand.

Once, rather than rescheduling completely, my friend suggested coming over to my house for a movie night. We chilled out in our pajamas and enjoyed catching up!

It was a great alternative to still hang out with my friends, and they were happy to hang out regardless of what we were doing in order to make me feel a little more comfortable during my flare-up. That is what good friends are for.

During university, I really didn’t want to miss out on parties or social events even if I was having a really bad psoriasis flare-up. I used to text my friends all the time to figure out what they were going to wear during the night out, and to see if I had anything that would match the dress code for the evening and not irritate my skin.

Once when I sent this text, my friend turned up at my door an hour later armed with a handful of clothes to ensure I found something to wear.

After a few hours and a bit of panicking about what to wear, my friends and I would find something so I’d be able to go out and enjoy myself.

One time, I remember feeling a flare-up coming during the week. By the time it got to Friday, I was ready to go home, close the curtains, and stay in all weekend. I texted my best friend to tell her I was refusing to leave my apartment all weekend to try and calm my psoriasis flare-up.

I was curled up on the sofa enjoying a TV show on that Friday night when my friend turned up at my door with what she called a psoriasis flare-up kit. It included moisturizer, chips and dip, and a magazine. I was so grateful that she made such an effort to ensure I had a good weekend, even though I wanted to stay in for the entirety of it.

Psoriasis flare-ups can be awful, but it’s important to let people know how you are feeling. Letting your friends know about your condition and how you feel makes it just a little bit easier to get through.

Judith Duncan is 25 years old and lives near Glasgow, Scotland. After being diagnosed with psoriasis in 2013, Judith started a skin care and psoriasis blog called TheWeeBlondie, where she could speak more openly about facial psoriasis.