So You Have Just Been Told You Have Psoriasis
By Freedom 360
Medically reviewed by Freedom 360 Panel of Doctors
So your doctor has just confirmed what you may have already suspected. The red areas on your arms and elbows are not an allergic reaction but a chronic skin condition called psoriasis. Your reaction changes from shock to disappointment, and from fear to anger.
When anyone receives unwelcome news, there is always a period when our emotions and thoughts need to adjust. It often takes a few weeks and sometimes even months before you are ready to face the reality that you have psoriasis and be ready to make changes to improve your quality of life.
Once the initial emotions have subsided, it is time to get positive and make a plan of action that will guide you for the next few months. Having this plan is important, as it will keep you focussed on positive actions and help you avoid falling into more negative behaviours such as moping, drinking or feeling sorry for yourself.
The first step on your action plan should be to get informed. There is a lot of information in the public domain on various aspects of the condition. The trick is to be sure you are getting your information from reputable sources such as the Freedom 360 Websitei or the Psoriasis Association of Singapore.
You need to be informed about all aspects of psoriasis, from what may cause it and common triggers, different forms of the condition such as psoriatic arthritis, levels of severity and common myths about the illness.
In you interaction with friends, family and colleagues you need to be well armed with the facts. When someone says it is contagious, you can tell them, with certainty that it is not, and go on to explain that it is an immune system-related condition.
The next step in your action plan is to reach out to others. It is important to know you are not alone. The ability to share your experiences and to learn from the sharing of others is a source of strength for many psoriasis patients. Groups such as the Psoriasis Association of Singaporeii can help you make contact with other people in the same position as you, and offer a range of activities that will both educate and entertain you.
Step three is to get actively involved in your own treatment. Do not be afraid to ask questions about your condition to your medical practitioner. Listen to their advice, provide feedback and discuss your concerns. The more information you share with your doctor, the better their capacity to adapt your treatment program to your needs.
You should inform yourself about the current medical thinking on the condition, as well as the current range of treatmentsiii. Doctors and patients have some amazing new treatments available to them that are the product of cutting-edge research and science. They also have many tried and tested traditional remedies that can help you. There may be a bit of trial and error but eventually you will find a treatment scheme that works best for you.
Step four may be hardest of all. The truth is most psoriasis patients face ignorance and discrimination as a result of their condition. The best thing you can do is pre-empt it by explaining to your friends and family that you have psoriasis and what it means. Encourage them to find out more about the illness so that they can help you on your journey.
A final and ongoing step in your action plan is to stay current. There are changes happening in the treatment of psoriasis all the time. Sometimes just knowing that so many brilliant doctors and scientists are committed to finding a cure for psoriasis will bring you some relief.
These are just some of the steps you can take when you first learn you have psoriasis. The key is to have a plan that keeps you focussed on positive actions and away from negative ones. And remember knowledge is power, so the more knowledge you have of your condition, the more powerful you will be in dealing with it.