4 Things Not to Say to Someone With Psoriasis

Follow these tips to help your loved one with psoriasis feel their very best.

Health Monitor Staff
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When you have psoriasis, coping with other people’s reactions about your disease can be even more challenging than dealing with your own feelings.

That’s why if your loved one has psoriasis, it’s important to know which words are best left unsaid. This way, you won’t unintentionally say something negative that hurts the person. Don’t know what’s off-limits? Follow the tips below:

What you say:
You look great.”
Someone with psoriasis may not look good all the time, and this person knows when it’s one of those days. Your compliment may be perceived as insincere, fake and disingenuous.

What you should say:
“I love your outfit.” 
Or specifically compliment your loved one on something else, such as a necklace. That way you’ll make your loved one feel good. And giving a specific compliment will let the person with psoriasis know that your words are genuine.

What you say:
"My friend is going through that, too."
Everyone’s experience with psoriasis differs, so you may provoke unnecessary anxiety by detailing what someone else has been through. Sure, you’re likely just looking for a way to connect with the person with psoriasis. But you don’t want to make this person more anxious about the situation. 

What you should say:
“My friend is going through a similar issue. I’m happy to introduce the two of you.”
People with psoriasis often feel isolated and like no one understands what they’re going through. They’ll likely appreciate talking to someone else with the condition to compare treatment notes, discuss doctors, etc. 

What you say:
"I know how you feel.”
You’re saying this statement with the best intentions, expressing your compassion and sympathy. But unless you’ve had psoriasis, you don’t really know how this person feels. It may also make this person think detailed health information is off-limits.

What you should say:
“I’m here for you” or “I don’t know what to say but I’m sorry you’re going through this.” 
By using phrases like these, you’re acknowledging that the person with psoriasis isn’t going through it alone. You’ll be there on good days and on bad ones. And if the person is having a bad day, you’re encouraging the person to tell you what's going on.

What you say:
"Everything will be alright" or “You’ll beat this.”
By making pie-in-the-sky statements that are blindly optimistic, you may make the person feel like you aren’t taking the illness seriously. 

What you should say:
“We’re in this together.”
Reassure the person that you’ll be supportive. Encourage the person to talk to you, remembering that you can listen without responding—sometimes people just want to be heard.

September 2011