Just Been Diagnosed with Psoriasis? Now What?
Last updated: September 2023
Being diagnosed with psoriasis can be a rather bewildering time. You may be coming to terms with having just been told you have a chronic, lifelong illness, and you may have plenty of questions about what that means and what can be done.
The first thing I’d say to do is to just take a step back and process what your medical team has told you. You have a skin condition, but it’s not life-threatening. It can be treated, but it may come and go in waves throughout your life.
Psoriasis can take a toll mentally
There will be times when the condition is better and other times when it’s really bad. But there is a lot of support and help available. And don’t neglect your mental well-being too. While psoriasis may feel like an unsightly burden that only looks bad, it can take a toll emotionally and psychologically, so keep that in mind too.
It doesn’t matter what age you are first diagnosed. I first had psoriasis when I was 11, and it plagued me throughout some of my important developmental years, such as when I was a teenager, which stopped me doing things and enjoying life. I now wish, looking back, I put less emphasis on the condition and focused more on living.
So if you’re a teenager and just been told you have it, or if you’re in your twenties or older, just know that you are very much not alone, as cliche as it sounds.
Do research about living with psoriasis
When you’ve processed having the condition and the baggage that comes with it, do your research into exactly what help is out there.
You can go with treatment and medication offered by your medical team, but you can also supplement that with oils, moisturizers, creams and lotions which may reduce the burden of the condition and lessen the redness and itching.
Have a look at social media sites such as YouTube, or check out hashtags on Instagram, or see what groups there are on Facebook. Educate yourself. Look into the condition, what others are doing, how they’re living and have a good, thorough research into what help is available.
Perhaps check in with a psychologist, too. As I’ve said, the condition can take a toll on your mental well-being because of how it looks, feel and the general day-to-day burden of it. Support groups may be accessible in your local area, or you can go along to a local conference or gathering. Don’t rule out friends and family members. They may not have the condition, but could be a good ear for you when you need to vent or speak about what’s bothering you.
Psoriasis isn't your whole life, it's just a part of it
Ultimately, what I want you to know is psoriasis is an irritating, debilitating condition, but it is just part of your life, it doesn’t have to be everything in your life. There are so many good treatments now which can really help. I am on a biologic and while my patches aren’t completely clear, my quality of life is so much better now and that’s been achieved through trial and error of different medications.
Additionally, I use moisturizers and creams, and try and work on my mental well-being with exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep.
Don’t let me tell you it’s easy, it isn’t. But slowly, day by day, you will get stronger, happier and healthier. If you access the treatments, find the support and keep going, you will get better and enjoy your life.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?