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From work to relationships, living with psoriasis can affect someone’s life in more ways than one

“Oh, it’s nothing. Just put some lotion on it.” 

“It looks like dry skin. I think you’re fine.”

How many times have people said this about your psoriasis? If it’s more than one time, it’s too many. We have heard from our community that acquaintances and friends sometimes try to minimize the disease by saying “it is only a skin condition,” while people living with it know there is more to psoriasis than what meets the eye. In fact, raise your hand if it feels like a one-two punch every time someone tries to downplay your psoriasis…

Why psoriasis is not ‘just flaky skin’

If you are living with psoriasis, you may know the physical symptoms:

  • The itching, burning or soreness that you feel on your skin
  • The pain from the cracks and bleeding from itching
  • The red patches of inflamed skin covered with scales, or plaques

You also know it is much more than that. It is the other aspects of psoriasis that can be just as difficult to deal with. For example, comorbidities, also known as diseases or conditions that occur simultaneously with others. Some common comorbidities of psoriasis include:1,2,3 

  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Heart disease

Let’s pause right there. Comorbidities can be an upsetting possibility for someone living with psoriasis – but the link between psoriasis and comorbidities is complex. You should never hesitate to speak with your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have regarding psoriasis and comorbidities.

And finally, psoriasis can detract from the quality of life you are leading. The impact of psoriasis on work, relationships, and even staying active are common discussions on this site. Beyond this, studies have shown that 79% of people living with psoriasis reported that the condition had a negative impact on their lives.4

Does psoriasis impact your quality of life? If you are curious about this, consider taking a DLQI test. The 2016 WHO Report on Psoriasis also outlines, in detail, some of the quality of life challenges and mental health issues commonly associated with psoriasis in an effort to raise global awareness.

So…what do you say?

The question remains: how do you explain your psoriasis when people downplay the disease? It’s a challenging question to answer, and everyone’s response will be different

What can you do moving forward?

Unfortunately, some people living with psoriasis share a tough road of trying to manage their skin condition. It’s like getting knocked down after that one-two punch, but it’s important to always get back up. Be persistent. Continue having those important conversations with your dermatologist. Be prepared. Ask for more – and look ahead towards a better outcome. Continue to educate those around you. And if they don’t listen and someone says to you that psoriasis is ‘just a rash,’ feel free to give ‘em the one-two punch…Kidding.


1 Farley E et al. G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Feb;146(1):9-15. Psoriasis: comorbidities and associations.

2 Abuabara K et al. Br J Dermatol. 2010 Sep;163(3):586-92. Cause-specific mortality in patients with severe psoriasis: a population-based cohort study in the U.K.

3 Gelfand JM et al. Arch Dermatol. 2007 Dec;143(12):1493-9. The risk of mortality in patients with psoriasis: results from a population-based study

4Krueger G, Arch Dermatol 2001;137:280-284. The impact of psoriasis on quality of life: results of a 1998 National Psoriasis Foundation patient-membership survey.

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