Everyday Life With Psoriasis

Psoriasis affects daily life in many ways. Symptoms often make daily tasks difficult. Visible symptoms and stigma may affect how you dress and act. They may also affect school, work, and relationships.

There are many ways to cope. People with psoriasis still enjoy fulfilling relationships, careers, and social lives. Talk to your doctor, support group, or loved ones about how to improve daily life.

Appearance and stigma

Psoriasis is not infectious. But many people wrongly believe that it is. Social stigma can lead people with psoriasis to try to hide skin symptoms. Teenagers with psoriasis can be more affected because their appearance may feel more important.1–3

Everyone deals with visible symptoms differently when in public. Some people try to cover up affected areas with foundation or clothing. Others do not feel the need to hide anything. And others find that concealing the skin takes too much time and effort. All of these feelings are normal. And it is normal for feelings and behaviors to change over time.1

Some people with psoriasis report that they avoid doing things because they fear the stigma. This may include sports with physical contact. It can also include jobs at which they would have to speak with customers.1

People with psoriasis may deal with poor reactions at school or work. It is common for other people to stare or ask questions. Dealing with these reactions can be stressful and tiring. Talking ahead of time with teachers and coworkers about your psoriasis may help. Others in support groups may have tips for managing others’ reactions.1,2

Relationships and intimacy

Many people with psoriasis have fulfilling intimate relationships. However, dating with psoriasis can be challenging. Some have difficulty approaching others or starting a relationship. They may feel unattractive, worry about rejection, or fear intimacy.1

Regardless of what your skin looks like, you are worthy and deserving of love. Focusing on positive traits can help you to overcome body insecurities.1

Talking openly with your partner is helpful. Talk to them about psoriasis before you are intimate. Also talk to them about how it affects sex, especially if your symptoms affect the genitals. Certain types of lubricants can make sex comfortable and safe. There are also many ways to be intimate without sex. Talk to your doctor for advice about how to enjoy sex and intimacy.1,2

Daily activities

Psoriasis can make certain daily activities much harder. You may not be able to take part in contact sports. You may also have trouble with chores or work that are too physically demanding.4

Symptoms are hard to predict and can get worse suddenly. Flares may lead you to cancel activities. You may feel guilty think you are unreliable, but this is untrue.4

It can be difficult losing things you enjoy. Find other activities that you can take part in. For example, spending time on psoriasis advocacy can help you find meaning.5

Managing symptoms

Managing psoriasis symptoms may take up a lot of your time. These symptoms include itching, dryness and cracking, and nail psoriasis.2

Itching is common and one of the most troubling symptoms. People with psoriasis may use several treatments every day to reduce itching. These include:6

  • Topical treatments
  • Systemic medicine taken by mouth or by injection
  • Phototherapy
  • Biologics

Itching and other symptoms can interfere with daily life, especially during flares. Treating these symptoms is important. But treatments can place a large burden on people and take up a lot of time.6,7

Taking care of your mental health

People with psoriasis have a higher risk of depression and anxiety. Stress and fear related to the social stigma can lead to isolation. It can also prevent you from doing things you enjoy.1,2

Feelings of shame about body image can lead to low self-esteem in children. And worrying about hiding symptoms can prevent children from expressing themselves. Social isolation and bullying may also be bad for their mental health.4,7

A good way to take care of yourself is to talk to a therapist. They can suggest ways to cope with the challenges of daily life with psoriasis. They can also help you identify harmful thought patterns and situations.1

Here are other ways to take care of your mental health:5

  • Find support networks of friends and family
  • Spend time on your hobbies and interests
  • Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine
  • Find support groups of people living with psoriasis
  • Practice meditation and other self-care

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The PlaquePsoriasis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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