The Emotional Toll of Psoriasis


One thing that might help is to try to explain psoriasis to other people. Explain that it's not contagious and that it has nothing to do with poor hygiene. Explain that it's an incurable lifelong condition but that you're being treated for it. It's especially important that your family and friends understand this.

Educating people, of course, isn't practical in every casual situation. There are times when you'll have to ignore the stares. No one should have to spend his or her life being a cheerful spokesperson for psoriatic understanding.

Getting Help for Your Emotions and Psoriasis

If you feel like your psoriasis is detracting from your life and making you miserable, try to seek professional help. If possible, find a therapist who's treated people with psoriasis before. Your doctor might be able to make a recommendation. In some cases, antidepressant medications may also help you cope.

Another option is to seek out a support group, either in person or on the Internet. Ask your doctor for suggestions. Talking to people dealing with your condition might make you feel a lot better and less lonely. You might also learn good tips from others about dealing with and treating this condition.

One of the best things you can do is to keep going to your doctor. Feeling depressed may make you want to give up and retreat from life, but that isn't a real option. You have to keep fighting and stay involved in your treatment.

"People with psoriasis have to know that they're not alone," says Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, director of the Clinical Research Center at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City. "And although we can't offer a cure at this time, we do have the options to improve it."

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on January 13, 2016


SOURCES: Bruce E. Strober, MD, PhD,  associate director of Dermatopharmacology, Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine; co-director of the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Center; consultant for Amgen, Biogen, Genentech, Fujisawa, NexGenix Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc., and 3-M. Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, director of the Clinical Research Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City; assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; consultant for Amgen and Genentech. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases web site. American Academy of Dermatology web site. WebMD Medical Reference with Healthwise: "Psoriasis." American Academy of Dermatology, PsoriasisNet web site. National Psoriasis Foundation web site. Abel, E. "Dermatology III: Psoriaisis," ACP Medicine, April, 2005.

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