How To Handle Insensitive Comments About Psoriasis
Last updated: September 2022
People who live with psoriasis have heard it all. Unfortunately, this means that many of you have had to come up with your own ways to handle the insensitive comments. Everyone handles rudeness differently.
What are the worst comments you've heard about your psoriasis?
To hear more about these conversations, we asked members of our Facebook community to share the worst comments you have heard about your skin. You bravely shared those awful comments – as well as how you have chosen to respond to them.
More than 80 of you commented, and here is what you had to say.
Taking the time to educate
Some of you shared that you have reached a comfort level with your psoriasis, so when people make comments that show they clearly do not know what it is, you take the time to explain the disease. Bravo!
Taking the time to educate someone means that perhaps the next time they encounter someone with a skin condition, they will be kinder.
“We must educate who we can.”
“When people have said, ‘Ew, gross!’ I just laughed it off. We must educate who we can. Explain, explain, explain.”
“I am a badass. People do not make comments when they think I might hear them. Sadly, if they did, I would take the time to educate them.”
Catch the sarcasm
Others in the community have taken a different tactic: When people say something ridiculous, you respond in kind with a ridiculous statement or joke. Some people may catch the sarcasm and clue into the fact that they have overstepped a line. Even if they do not, many of you are happy having the last laugh.
“Sometimes people ask, ‘Did you know you have something wrong with your skin?’ Same thing on a daily basis by a customer. I finally told him I have leprosy. That shut him up.”
“I have psoriasis on my face, and a woman asked me once if I put lit matches on my cheeks, so I said yes.”
Don't take it personally
It can take a while to fully understand this, but what other people say about you has nothing to do with you. Their comments are a reflection of their mood or the negative experiences of their lives. Some people are just mean.
If you can learn to not take other people’s comments personally, you will have a much easier time holding onto your peace and serenity.
“I had a regular customer years ago at a drive-thru convenience store that asked if the spots that were flaring on my face were from my boyfriend burning me with a cigar to shut me up/put me in my place. I will never understand the cruelty of strangers.”
Choosing your friends
It is one thing when the comments come from a boss, coworker or customer. It is another thing when they come from someone who is supposed to be a “friend.” Do not forget: We get to choose our friends. Not everyone is kind and understanding about psoriasis.
If a friend makes a rude remark, you can let them know they hurt your feelings. If they keep it up, by all means, cut them loose. Life is much more enjoyable when we surround ourselves with happy, positive, and supportive people.
“A friend said to me: ‘Well, you are certainly a mess.’ Needless to say, I do not have her in my life anymore.”
A psoriasis community that understands
Thank you to everyone who shared experiences for this story. We love hearing the creative and empowered ways you have learned to deal with negativity.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?