Skip to content

    Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

    Font Size

    Talking About Your Psoriasis With Others

    WebMD Feature

    When you know how to explain your psoriasis to others, it can relieve some of the stress that goes along with your skin condition.

    "The more people around you that know about it, the more support you'll get," says Linda Cornish. She's a dermatology nurse who helps people with psoriasis at Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, CA. "And being open and honest can make you feel less self-conscious."

    Recommended Related to Skin Problems & Treatments

    Pityriasis Rosea

    Important It is possible that the main title of the report Pityriasis Rosea is not the name you expected.

    Read the Pityriasis Rosea article > >

    These six tips can help you talk about your psoriasis to friends and coworkers.

    1. Choose the right time.

    Figure out a time and a place that will make you feel comfortable.

    "If you're relaxed and at ease, the person you're talking to is more likely to feel at ease," says Julie Nelligan, PhD. She's a health psychologist in private practice in Portland, OR.

    The right setting is likely to depend in part on the person you're talking to. With a coworker, you may want to bring up the subject during a break or over lunch. If you're talking to someone you've begun dating, you may want to arrange a special time.

    2. Think through what you want to say.

    Plan it out. That can help make things easier. Chances are you'll also feel more relaxed. How much detail you give will depend on the person you're talking with.

    A coworker may need to know only what psoriasis is and that they can’t catch it. Your boss might need to know about your treatments if that means taking time off from work. When talking to a date, you may want to explain what living with psoriasis is like for you.

    For especially sensitive talks, practice with someone who already knows and cares about you, such as a parent or close friend. "A loved one can help you choose the right words and decide on the appropriate amount of information," Nelligan says. "Having a loved one to turn to can also be helpful if the conversation you have doesn't go as smoothly as you'd hoped."

    3. Address people's worries up front.

    Start by reassuring people that they won’t catch your skin condition. Explain that it’s caused by an immune reaction gone wrong and you’ll always have it. You may want to explain what psoriasis feels like and what the treatments involve.

    Today on WebMD

    Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
    woman with dyed dark hair
    What it says about your health.
    woman with cleaning products
    Top causes of the itch that rashes.
    atopic dermatitus
    Identify and treat common skin problems.
    itchy skin
    shingles rash on skin
    woman with skin tag
    Woman washing face
    woman washing her hair in sink
    close up of womans bare neck
    woman with face cream