The Impact of Answering Questions About Psoriasis
I cannot even begin to count the number of times that I have had to explain my psoriasis to someone. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a stranger at the grocery store, I always find myself explaining my disease to someone.
I get it though. It's probably mind-boggling to people on the outside of the psoriasis community. “What are those spots on her skin?” they wonder. And then you have those people who are bold enough to ask me about it.
Explaining it over and over
I was diagnosed with psoriasis 11 years ago. I guess you could say I am somewhat used to the questions and the stares. Still, sometimes I hate having to explain my disease over and over again. The words have started to sound so mundane to me. I even question sometimes if people really even care or if they are just being intrusive.
Over the years, I have gotten pretty creative when I answer questions about my psoriasis to other people. Sometimes I call it a skin condition, other times I call it a skin disorder. And if I feel like getting very technical, I’ll call it an autoimmune disease. It really just depends on who I am talking to.
There is no right or wrong way
Of course, if I am talking to one of my elementary-aged students or younger cousins, I will not call it an autoimmune disease. Instead, I will opt for more simplified phrases like “skin condition” or “skin rash”.
One thing I will say is that I have learned over the past 11 years of explaining my skin to others that there is no right or wrong way to explain it. I have grown to understand that people who ask about my skin are just concerned for one reason or another. And quite frankly, I can't say that I blame them.
A better understanding
Having spots on the skin is not considered the norm I guess. Having psoriasis is one thing that makes me unique and it makes me who I am. No matter how many times I have to explain it, I try my best to speak with a lot of confidence. This has not been an easy task though if I am being honest.
It has taken many, many years for me to build this type of confidence. I remember many times earlier in my journey with psoriasis where I would literally tear up each and every time someone questioned me about my skin. One thing that is different for me now is that I have a better understanding of my disease.
The benefit of community
I have had the opportunity to network with many other people in the psoriasis community. This has been so reassuring for me during this journey. Also, platforms like one have been a great help as well.
Finding a whole community of people that I can share experiences with makes having psoriasis not feel so isolating. It also helps me feel more comfortable during the times when I do have to explain what I am going through to other people.
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