What Can I Do?
Be supportive, but don’t focus too much on the disease.
If you use embarrassed or negative tones, your child may feel that psoriatic disease is something to be ashamed of. It isn’t.
Acknowledge the management aspects of the disease, but focus more on your child as an individual and his day-to-day accomplishments, such as “What happened in school today?” or “Wow, you played a great game tonight.”
Help your child identify and express feelings. Depending on the age, emojis may help. Does your child feel anger, frustration or confusion as to why it’s happening again, or like it’s her fault because they did something to cause the flare? Does she ask, “Why me?”
Reassure your child that these emotions are normal. He didn’t do anything wrong. Talk about potential triggers and make journal notes in a symptom tracker to discuss with your child’s doctor. You could say, “Having psoriasis is just like having blue eyes or brown hair. It’s part of who you are. It’s not your fault.” Or, “It’s not clear why some people have it and others don’t.”
Be careful what you say about your child covering up signs of psoriasis. Encouraging your child to cover up may make her feel like she is different and that you are embarrassed. Let your child decide if she wants to flaunt her flares and teach others about the disease. If your child feels more comfortable covering up, let her make that choice.
Get more advice on how to best support your loved ones with psoriatic disease with NPF's free Care Partner Booklet.