​The emotional and social effects of psoriasis

Psoriasis is a category of disease that is not life threatening but it may be life affecting. How people cope with psoriasis varies; some do not experience any real problems other than the condition itself, others are impacted both emotionally and physically. The way a person copes, accepts and manages their condition is unique to each person. Below are potential emotional and social issues faced by psoriasis patients: 
  • Low self-confidence – depending on where the psoriasis is located, it may affect the way you feel about yourself and how you look. Low self-confidence transfers into other aspects of life and therefore may be life affecting. It is important to seek early treatment and to discuss how you feel with your physician. 
  • Isolation/Relationship issues – You may also find that making new friends or meeting new people generally is difficult because of low confidence – again, this is often determined by location and severity of the condition. Psoriasis may make you uncomfortable physically which may have consequences for physical affection. Psoriasis in intimate areas can have consequences for sexual activity. There are also issues of feeling unattractive to your partner which can cause distance in a relationship. 
  • Stigma from others – If psoriasis symptoms are severe and in a prominent location which can be seen by others, people can often be curious as to what it is; this might also prompt them to consider that it may be contagious. It is, in a way, natural for people to be concerned of the unknown. The best way to combat this type of reaction is to be open and honest about your condition and to educate those around you as to the fact that it is not a contagious disease. 
  • Depression – may be linked to all of the above issues. Psoriasis may contribute to depression because of the ways in which it can negatively affect a person’s life; this may result in occasionally feeling low and eventually to depression. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression you should speak to your physician as treatment may be available.

Support for the emotional elements of psoriasis is important. You should not hesitate to discuss these issues with your physician, as psychological help, advice and support may be an important aspect of treatment.