Picture Yourself at Your Best
Aldredge counsels people with psoriasis to take pictures of their skin at its best. "When you're experiencing a flare-up and feeling discouraged, you can remind yourself of what your skin can look like when your psoriasis is under control," she says. Knowing your skin routine pays off can keep you motivated.
Splurge now and then on clothes, shoes, or jewelry. Treat yourself to a manicure or a new hairstyle. These things can make you feel and look great. Your skin is only one aspect of your appearance.
It can be tempting to hide away at times. Don't let yourself become isolated and withdrawn. If you're having a tough time, reach out to friends and family.
- Join a support group. You can talk to people who know firsthand what you're going through and trade tips and support. In a survey, 66% of people who joined an online support group said it made them feel more in control or their psoriasis. Your dermatologist can help you find a local group.
- Get Involved. Check out the National Psoriasis Foundation calendar for local activities and events. You may want to be part of a mentor program or take part in a walk that brings together people with psoriasis with their friends and families.
Deal - or Don't -- With People's Reactions
Some people's misconceptions about psoriasis may make them pull away from you and make you feel more isolated. You can't control stares or questions, but you can control how you respond to them:
- Be a teacher. Some days, you may want to explain the basics. Reassure people that psoriasis isn't contagious. Explain that your condition can't be cured but it can be controlled. If you feel comfortable, tell friends and co-workers about your treatment plan.
- Cover up. Other days, you may not have the energy or desire to be a teacher. You don't need to be. Throw on a long-sleeved shirt, pants, or a turtleneck to keep the questions at bay.
See a Therapist
Psoriasis does not have to get in the way of enjoying life. If you have depression, anxiety, or anger that won't budge, talk to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker who specializes in helping people with psoriasis, skin conditions, or chronic health issues. They can help you develop other coping strategies.