Jobs, work and psoriasis
- work life and job interviews can be a source of stress
- uniforms irritating/triggering the skin
- worry about symptoms being visible and seen by others
- needing time off work for medical appointments/treatments
- being tired and less focused at work because of disrupted sleep
- side effects from psoriasis treatments being visible and drawing attention, such as when Adam’s face was burnt after phototherapy and Lola’s hair being greasy after using a medicated shampoo
People sometimes needed to take time off work to attend medical appointments. Others were able to fit appointments (including for phototherapy treatment) around shifts, but found it could be tiring after a while. Most people said they hadn’t taken time off work because of feeling self-conscious about psoriasis, but Adam remembered once working from home instead of the office when he felt low about his skin. Some particular types of jobs were talked about by the young people we interviewed. These include:
- Jobs and volunteer work with children, such as teaching. Some found this could mean being asked questions about their skin. Lucy found it rewarding being able to share her experiences to support students with psoriasis in her classes.
- Working with food, including waiting tables and catering. People in these jobs often mentioned worries about skin flakes falling into food they were making or serving. Although it hadn’t happened to anyone we spoke to, many worried about customers making complaints. Abbie was pleased when she was allowed to wear a white shirt as her uniform, as skin flakes from her scalp were less visible.
- Working in healthcare. Carys is a hospital nurse and thinks that patients were put-off by seeing her skin because they might have falsely believed that psoriasis is something you can catch.
- Shift-based jobs. Fitting in treatments around shifts was an issue for Abbie, Carys and Simon. This includes going to the hospital for phototherapy and routines of applying topical treatments.