Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

Words and Phrases that Bother Me as a Person Living with Psoriasis

Check out these list of words and phrases I could live without when it comes to psoriasis. I understand that some of the terms mentioned below are necessary depending on the content in which they are being used. I am also aware that everyone won’t have the same sentiments. I have to admit, I am guilty of using a few of these terms, but as of late I have attempted to use terminology I feel is more appropriate. I also share better ways to give the same description or context for the terms, which I feel are less offensive. Please keep in mind the following is based on my own feelings and opinions.


Why I dislike it: These words have a negative connotation. It makes it seem as though one is afflicted and suffering. These terms make it seem as if one is abnormal.

Other terms not to use: “Afflicted by” or “suffers from”

Better words or phases: “Condition”


Why I dislike it: I am more than a patient. In written articles about psoriasis, I would prefer a different term or phrase be used, unless of course, it’s a medical journal of some sort.

Better words or phrases:</strong “Person living with psoriasis.”

Skin Rash/Skin Disorder

Why I dislike it: Psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder. It is not a skin rash but a condition of the immune system which affects the skin.

Better words or phrases: “Auto-immune disorder,” “Over-reactive-immune condition which effects the skin.”

Abnormal Skin

Why I dislike it: When I hear the term abnormal I think of strange, weird, unusual or irregular. Living with this disease doesn’t make our bodies abnormal it just means our bodies operate in a different way.
Better words or phrases: (Please refer to words and phrases mentioned earlier)

Mental Illness

Why I dislike it: The mental and emotional health of those with psoriasis will usually be affected in some way, mainly because of the visibility of the disease. Many people living with psoriasis deal with depression or some type of mental anguish. Due to the unfavorable meaning of, the word illness I feel as though calling neurotic disorders as such further ostracizes people dealing with these feelings. Most people are afraid to be labeled as having a mental illness because they feel as though people will think they are crazy, thus many continue to live in silence.

Better words or phrases: I feel as though the term mental illness should only be used by medical professionals and clinical studies when giving a board explanation of mental disorders opposed to labeling individuals with this term.  When referring to someone dealing with mental and emotional health issues I would refer to the exact term of the condition such as depression or bipolar disorder.

Example of good and not so good phrases

Not good: “She has some disease that causes breakouts on the skin.”
Better wording: “She has a condition that appears on her skin due to an overactive immune-system.

Not good: “She is suffering from mental illness.”
Better wording: “She is living with a mental health condition”

Not good: “Her skin doesn’t look normal.”
Better wording: “She has a condition that impacts her skin.”


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