For Teens

This is your place.

Welcome to Our Spot! We’ll try to answer your questions about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (together called psoriatic disease) and how they may impact your life.

 
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Family Relationships

Your parents and family members are your first line of support. Here are some ways to interact with them:

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Work with your parents, guardian or caregivers.

Learn how to take an active role in setting appointments, asking questions and expressing how you feel.

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Ask your family for privacy if you need it.

If you don’t want them to tell other people you have psoriasis, that's okay. Let them know ahead of time to avoid embarrassment or hurt feelings.

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Lead by example.

By taking care of yourself, building positive self-esteem and treating your disease, you could be an excellent role model for any younger siblings or other family members.

Relationships and Dating

It can be difficult talking about your psoriasis and how it affects your life.

Psoriasis may affect your relationships, but it doesn’t have to control them.

If you feel nervous about dating, you may wonder if the person you’re interested in will notice your skin. Here’s a fact: Most people with psoriatic disease have successful romantic relationships. The key is finding the right person.

How do I Tell a Date About My Psoriasis?

It depends.

There may be no point in letting a date know about your psoriasis until you know you’re interested in developing a relationship with that person.

You can tell the person on your first date by sliding into the topic. Talk about the beach or swimming and how the sun is good for your psoriasis. Mention a psoriasis-related appointment or event you attended recently. Whatever approach you choose, remember that everyone has something different about him or her. Psoriasis just happens to be something that shows.

It’s also OK to wait awhile before bringing it up.

Will Psoriasis Affect My Ability to Have an Intimate Relationship?

If you choose to be sexually active, psoriasis will be a concern if you have it in the genital area.

Sex can irritate genital psoriasis, especially if your psoriasis is already flaring. Typically, you can control genital psoriasis more easily than psoriasis elsewhere. If your psoriasis doesn’t affect the genital area, it most likely won’t have any physical consequences during intimacy.

Bullying

Since psoriasis appears on the skin, you probably feel like you’re wearing a target.

The best defense is to recognize bullying (defined as unwanted, aggressive, repeated behavior) and be prepared to deal with it.

There are three types of bullying:

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Verbal:

teasing, name-calling, threats, taunting

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Social:

spreading rumors, embarrassing you in public, leaving you out on purpose

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Physical:

stealing or breaking your personal items, hitting/kicking/pinching, spitting, pushing/tripping

If you find yourself facing a bully, here are a few steps you can take:

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Remember you are not alone.

Other people with psoriatic disease – more than 8 million adults and children in the U.S. – have been bullied. Some of the children and teens who have been bullied have shared their stories here on Our Spot.

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Find your allies.

Surround yourself with people who want to be your friends. They’ll remind you how awesome you are.

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Share some words of wisdom.

Calmly and respectfully tell the bully that you have psoriasis and that it’s not contagious. If the mistreatment continues, tell a trusted adult what’s happening. If that adult isn’t able to help, find someone who can.

Seeing a counselor or therapist can be a great way to work through your feelings and emotions in a safe space. But if you’re having thoughts of harming yourself, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Peer Pressure

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Positive peer pressure

Positive peer pressure comes from friends and loved ones. It encourages you to be your best self.

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Negative peer pressure

Negative peer pressure causes stress and can force you to make decisions you’re not comfortable with. When you find yourselves in these situations, trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, walk away. Learn to say no. True friends will respect your decision. This kind of decision-making is part of becoming self-reliant and learning who you are.

You could also talk to your parents or another trusted adult about a key phrase or plan to use when you are in a situation that doesn’t feel right. This could be as simple as a one-letter text or a phrase to use on the phone.

Self-Esteem

How we think about ourselves shapes the way we interact with the world. This is why having positive self-esteem is so important. When you have psoriatic disease, it’s natural to feel anxious, angry and depressed, even though you have nothing to be ashamed of.

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Retrain your inner voice. 

When you catch yourself thinking negatively, try to change that habit. Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else. Take time throughout your day to stop and check how you are talking to yourself.

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Focus on the good. 

There will always be some degree of bad in our lives, but if you make that your focus, you won’t see all the things that are good. Write down a few things each day that are positive. Look back on what you wrote for encouragement on tough days.

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Remember, you are still you.

Psoriatic disease can be tough, but it’s not you. People who have psoriasis and psoriatic disease lead positive and productive lives. They may even be better at dealing with stress and change because of their coping skills.

Live Your Best Life with Psoriatic Disease

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Welcome Kit

Request our free Our Spot Welcome Kit with information and tools for people under 18.

Get your free kit
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Patient Navigation Center

Talk with your parents, guardians or caregivers about contacting the Patient Navigation Center for free, personalized guidance and support.

Visit the Patient Navigation Center
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Fact Sheet

Learn how to better understand living with psoriatic disease and coping with its emotional impacts.

Get a free fact sheet
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Watch & Listen

Listen to our podcast series, Psound Bytes™ or browse our webinars to get the latest information on treatments and thriving with psoriatic disease.

Go to Watch & Listen

Stay in the Know.

Expert tips, can’t-miss events and the latest news, straight to your inbox.

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