Based on their experiences, the young people we talked to had tips for others living with psoriasis. The key messages for other young people with psoriasis were:
- see a doctor and find out what help they can give
If you don’t feel your health professionals (like GPs or dermatologists
) are doing enough to help or you don’t feel comfortable with them, be insistent or arrange to see another. Some people highlighted that you can ask your GP to refer you to see a dermatologist and also for emotional support.
- try different treatments if your current ones aren’t helping
Adam thinks it’s important to be aware of the different prescribed treatments, such as emollients
, steroid creams
, systemic treatment
(non-biological, biological), shop-bought products and alternative therapies
. Abbie’s advice is to “be open” to different treatment options but also “stand your ground” in getting another if a treatment isn’t working. Sofia encourages others to follow the instructions and regularly use their treatments.
- keep an eye on changes to your psoriasis
This way you can see if it starts to be more severe or develops on a new part of your body. Some suggested talking to your doctors and nurses if a treatment only gets psoriasis to a “stable” but persistent level as they may have ideas to help adjust or combine treatments to be more effective.
This can include lifestyle factors (such as sleep
, diet, alcohol and smoking
) which Russell found had a “big impact” on his skin. Stress is a major emotional trigger for a lot of people and can be difficult to avoid, but some people looked for ways to manage it. Keeping the skin cool, such as with a lighter duvet or having windows open, helped Louie and Louis.
- be prepared for other people to be ignorant about psoriasis
Many found others made rude comments or asked questions (such as ‘is it contagious?’), because they didn’t know much about the skin condition. Steven encourages other young people with psoriasis to talk about it, rather than being afraid to do so. Megan takes pride in educating others, including her peers and teachers at school
- do some research about psoriasis, but don’t trust everything you read online
Looking online can be a good way to find out about the different treatment options too, which you can then talk to your doctor about. Hannah says “be cautious not to buy
everything that you read about” including alternative therapies and home remedies
Louis says he made a “conscious effort” to keep going out and socialising. Simon adds, “Don’t let it get the better of you”.
They said to be confident and not worry about what others might think or say, but understood this can be hard to do at times. Some found talking to people they trusted, such as family and close friends, helped. Many people found it reassuring that others often didn’t notice their psoriasis and they felt it was not as visible to others as they had assumed. Some people found it reassuring to know that they are not the only person with psoriasis and that it’s more common than they previously thought. Many found it useful to speak to others with psoriasis, including through psoriasis charities and support groups.