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Living Well with Psoriasis

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This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the Healthgrades advertising policy.

7 Tips for Talking About Psoriasis With Your Partner

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Evelyn Creekmore on February 27, 2022
  • smiling-woman-in-drivers-seat
    Your conversation about psoriasis just got easier.
    In the United States alone, about 7.5 million people have psoriasis. That means you’re not the first to tackle the talk with your partner, and you won’t be the last. Much has been learned about how to best communicate and preserve your self esteem at the same time. Remember, it’s a partnership. You are more than your psoriasis, and your partner should be, too. Use these tips to get your conversations about psoriasis started.
  • young couple at cafe on computer
    1. Psoriasis: Stick to the facts.
    Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes skin cells to grow too fast and build up. Be prepared to answer your partner’s questions about that. Is psoriasis contagious? Absolutely not. How did you get it? It’s genetic. Try not to be defensive. The more educated you both are, the more likely your psoriasis will become a simple fact of your relationship. The more conversations about psoriasis you have, the easier they will become.
  • young woman leaning forward looking at laptop
    2. Seek support for talking about psoriasis.
    Family and friends are an important source of support, but they may not be enough. Consider joining a psoriasis support group so you can share the relationship challenges of psoriasis and exchange ideas with those who are going through the same thing. The group can provide a forum for a “dry run” for talking about psoriasis with your partner and make you feel less isolated and alone in the task.
  • Woman in Warrior Yoga Pose
    3. Conversations about psoriasis: Ease your anxiety.
    Worrying about psoriasis can put you on edge and make you feel self-conscious. As with any chronic condition, it’s important to learn how to reduce your stress. Think about what relaxes you … meditation, yoga, aromatherapy? Put yourself first and prioritize your relaxation techniques. You may benefit from muscle relaxation exercises, which involve letting go of tension one muscle group at a time. You may also benefit from mindfulness exercises, which emphasize developing attitudes such as acknowledgment, compassion, and patience toward yourself.
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  • smiling man talking on bench with woman
    4. Boost your self-confidence in talking about psoriasis.
    Having psoriasis can take a toll on your self esteem, body image, and overall quality of life. So can acne, eczema, a few extra pounds, or even a hair type or eye color you don’t like. Do yourself a favor and focus on what you do like about yourself, not what you don’t. Your best characteristics can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. If you tell a great joke or always keep a secret, own it. You’re a complete package
  • couple-in-bed
    5. Psoriasis and sex: Express yourself.
    Sex can be uncomfortable, even painful, for those with psoriasis, especially if the groin area is affected. Signs of the disease may look different in the groin area than on other parts of the body, but psoriaris is still not contagious, and it can’t be transmitted sexually. Condoms and lubricants can help reduce irriration, but everyone is different, and you should tell your partner where you do and don’t want to be touched.
  • male partners laughing and making dinner
    6. Remember, you have many ways to show affection.
    If there are times your psoriasis gets in the way of sexual intimacy, connect in another way. Conversations about intimacy should continue throughout your relationship, whether or not you have psoriasis. Talk about the best ways to show how much you care. Plan a date night, have a candlelit dinner at home, or treat each other to a hand, foot, or body massage. Consider holding hands, making out, or sharing your biggest hopes and dreams with each other.
  • Doctor and patient
    7. Stick with psoriasis treatment.
    Promising research suggests the challenges you may be experiencing in your relationship because of psoriasis won’t last forever. The National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board has recently called for a standard of psoriasis treatment that reduces the coverage of psoriasis on the body to 1% or less after three months. That means you can help your doctor help you through regular conversations about how well your current treatment is working and whether it’s time for a change.
Tough Conversations About Psoriasis | How to Talk to Your Partner

About The Author

Evelyn Creekmore has more than 15 years of experience writing online educational health content, including nearly 10 years full-time at WebMD, where she was the director of brand content. She holds an MPH in Applied Public Health Informatics from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and an MA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
  1. Psoriasis Overview. American Academy of Dermatology
    Association. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/scaly-skin/psoriasis
  2. Talking to Your Date about Psoriasis. National
    Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/blog/talking-your-date-about-psoriasis
  3. Relationships and Psoriasis. The
    Psoriasis Association. https://www.psoteen.org.uk/deal-with-it/relationships
  4. Psychological Aspects of Psoriasis. The
    Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance. http://www.papaa.org/psychological-aspects-psoriasis#12
  5. Psoriais. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355845
  6. Support groups: Make connections, get help. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/support-groups/art-20044655
  7. 10 Mindful Attitudes That Decrease Anxiety. Mindful. https://www.mindful.org/10-mindful-attitudes-decrease-anxiety/
  8. Body Image, Self-esteem, and Quality of Life in Patients
    with Psoriasis. U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of
    Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28979867
  9. Sensitive Areas. The Psoriasis Assocation. https://www.psoteen.org.uk/media/InformationSheets/SENSITIVE_2016.pdf
  10. Intimacy Without Intercourse. Healthy Women. http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/intimacy-without-intercourse
  11. Hitting the bullseye with your psoriasis
    treatment. National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/hitting-your-psoriasis-treatment-bullseye-2
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Last Review Date: 2022 Feb 27
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