Talking to your date about psoriasis

| Beth Orenstein

Even though your psoriasis might be obvious, it can be difficult to talk about, especially when you are making a potential new love connection.

Here are some tips to start the conversation, whether you’ve just started dating or are in a long-term relationship.

Speak up.

You may be able to hide your lesions for the first couple of dates under clothing or with makeup. But if your psoriasis is a big part of who you are, don’t wait too long to bring it up, said Marion Rudin Frank, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist in Philadelphia. “Telling someone you have psoriasis can be a good test to see if you want the relationship to continue.”

If your psoriasis turns your potential partner off, you know that person is not right for you.

Joni Kazantzis, a person living with psoriasis in Long Island, New York, agreed. “It’s better to see the other person’s reaction early on, because if they don’t want to pursue the relationship, it’s better at the beginning,” she said.

Be knowledgable.

When you tell people about psoriasis, they are likely to have questions. Chief among them: “Is it contagious?” It’s not, but don’t be put off by their questions, Kazantzis said. “They’re just trying to get information and become educated about your disease,” she explained. 

Also, the more you can tell them, the better. You can put people at ease by sharing facts about psoriasis, said Huy Ngo, of Loveland, Colorado, who has had psoriasis for years.

Be direct. 

If your psoriasis affects your ability to be intimate, you have to say how, Frank said. “The more specific you are, the better,” she said. “If you want to be touched this way and not this way, tell your partner.”

He or she will appreciate your honesty. “It makes it easier for the other person to do what you want,” Frank said. 

Don't blame yourself.

If someone rejects you because you have psoriasis, say thank you and move on, Frank said.

Be thankful that you found out before your relationship went too far, and don’t get down on yourself because of it.

The person who rejected you is not worthy of being your partner. You’ll find someone else, just as people without chronic conditions do.

Living with psoriatic disease didn't stop Kazantzis and Ngo from finding true love. They shared how they explained their conditions to their future spouses in a recent article in Advance Online. Check out the full story here.

Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

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