People dealing daily with psoriasis are likely all too familiar with others asking them questions or commenting about it. And chances are some of that commentary isn’t so pleasant to hear.
We asked our Living with Psoriasis Facebook community to share some of the most tactless — even inconsiderate — things people have said to them about this autoimmune disease. Here’s a sampling of what they’ve heard in the past and what they wish they’d heard instead!
Psoriasis can cause a lot of pain, particularly for those with moderate to severe psoriasis. Stating the obvious isn’t going to provide your friend with any support or better help them manage their condition.
Showing that you care and that you want to learn more can be the more sensitive approach. If your friend feels comfortable telling you more about psoriasis, then they will. If not, they’ll will likely tell you where you can get more information about the disease.
Psoriasis treatment goes beyond applying over-the-counter hand cream. Keeping skin moisturized can help ease flare-ups. But taking a prescription medication or a biologic can help prevent flare-ups from happening in the first place.
Moreover, combining approaches can also be helpful. By using a combination of ointments, systemic medications, and other drugs and therapies, you take care of symptoms through several paths. Treatments are typically given in three phases or stages: “The quick fix,” “the transitional phase,” and “the maintenance phase.”
Like most autoimmune conditions, it’s unclear what causes psoriasis. As a result, your friend can’t pinpoint why they have psoriasis. They only know that they have it and that they must learn how to live, manage, and handle the unwanted symptoms associated with it.
However, there are a handful of things that can trigger a flare-up or make an existing flare-up worse. Certain foods, heavy alcohol consumption, stress, and changes in weather or temperature are all common psoriasis triggers. Asking your friend if they know what their triggers are is one way to learn if they’re dealing with their condition appropriately.
There’s no one proven solution or cure for psoriasis. It’s different for everyone. That being said, meeting with a dermatologist on a regular basis can be beneficial to your friend and their overall treatment plan. It’s especially important for them to schedule an appointment if they’ve noticed a new symptom or they feel like their current treatment is no longer working. The body sometimes builds up a resistance to a certain medication, which is why it may no longer be effective. If this is the case, their dermatologist may recommend a more advanced medication, such as a biologic.
A certain stigma is associated with psoriasis. Many people with the condition are embarrassed by it, so they do what they can to cover themselves up or hide their symptoms.
Try telling your friend that their symptoms aren’t bothersome to you. They may not change how they dress, but it may make them feel more at ease.
This article is a favorite of the following psoriasis advocates: Nitika Chopra, Alisha Bridges, and Joni Kazantzis