Psoriasis and Stares: What To Do if Someone Can't Stop Looking
There are many downsides to having a chronic condition, and psoriasis is no different. In addition to invisible symptoms, this disease also has visible symptoms: raised skin plaques.
Depending where these plaques or outbreaks can appear on the body determine how other people react if they notice it.
When psoriasis is all someone sees...
Areas like the legs, armpits, and knees can be easy to cover if you're worried about other people's reactions, but the face, nails, legs, and arms may be more difficult, particularly if it's the summer season. Facial psoriasis, for me, presents particular challenges.
While some people will understand, others can't help but look - and keep on looking. The odd person who notices and carries on their day doesn't ever affect me. I understand that with a condition like facial psoriasis, there are going to be individuals who look and then do a double-take if it's something they've not seen before.
However, I remember it badly on my face when people would spend considerable time what looked to me as just staring. They would gaze into it and look at you, thinking intensely into whatever goes through their mind.
Psoriasis doesn't define me.
I am lucky in that; currently, I don't have psoriasis on my face. It's recently reappeared on my scalp, and I have a few other patches on other areas of my body, but nothing too visible. To be honest, if it does come back on my face, I don't think I'll be bothered.
I've stopped living my life trying to please others with this condition. I will show who I am because there's nothing I can do about this disease.
I cannot stop it from appearing, spreading, or being angry and red, so rather than let that affect me, I've decided to carry on and make sure it doesn't matter.
Smile and carry on.
So, what will I do if psoriasis does reappear on my face? Smile. Smile and carry on. It could be a good conversation starter with a new pal or potential love interest. I could always introduce myself and, to make it less awkward, explain psoriasis. It's not contagious and will probably end up affecting other areas of my body.
Coming to terms with a condition like psoriasis can take years. You often think it's your fault because it's chronic, and there's not much you can do to ease the burden. If that's too much for them, then the best thing to do is break off the relationship: whether it's a friendship or something more.
Yes, biologics and other treatments can work. Don't get me wrong: I'm so thankful for my Skyrizi injection, but it's not always a guaranteed thing that the treatment will get rid of the condition.
Managing the emotional toll
Having the right mindset and seeing a therapist or mental health professional is important to lift the psychological and emotional baggage that comes with managing psoriasis.
Once you do that and learn to accept that this condition is a burden, it's lifelong, and may never go away completely; you learn to be yourself, be happier, and enjoy whatever challenges life throws at you.
Don't put off any plans for this disease. Visible psoriasis sucks, but it doesn't have to be a painful struggle if you get the right help. Yes, deal with the condition itself by seeing your dermatologist and medical team, but please don't neglect your mental health too.
Honesty can save you.
As for the stares themselves, again, don't put off any plans. Smile. And smile some more. If someone asks you, try to explain what it is, how it manifests, and even how it affects you.
I think people are probably far more understanding than you would think. Of course, some won't be, and it can be hard not to let it affect you. But, realize there are also people who may have this condition themselves, know somebody who does or want more information.
For anybody who doesn't and is negative about it, stuff them! You're better than that.
Do you anxiously anticipate a psoriasis relapse?