"Be sensitive to people's reactions," Nelligan says. "If the person you're talking to seems uneasy, tell them just what you think they need to know and move on to something else. You can always bring the subject up again later."
In some cases, it may be helpful to refer people to good online sources.
4. Express how you feel.
Explaining the disease isn't just about sharing information. It's also about feeling comfortable being open and honest with important people in your life.
"Especially with someone you feel close to, it's OK to express your feelings," Nelligan says.
Having people you can talk to will help ease the stress of living with psoriasis. "That's important, since stress can trigger flare-ups of the disease," Cornish says.
5. Follow up the conversation later.
In some cases, people may not know how to respond at first. They may need time to feel comfortable about asking questions.
If your first conversation feels awkward, find a time to bring the subject up again. With people you see often, keep the lines of communication open.
Psoriasis is something you usually have to deal with every day. Treatments can be time-consuming and stressful. You should feel that it’s OK to share your everyday experiences with those close to you.
6. Accept yourself with psoriasis.
"If people respect and care about you, they'll be understanding and sympathetic,” Nelligan says. And remember: Psoriasis doesn’t define you.