Life with psoriasis: Relationships

Psoriasis and Relationships

Psoriasis is a visible disease that can affect your relationships in a number of ways. It can be difficult talking to friends and family about your psoriasis and how it affects your life. You may avoid dating if you have a poor body image because of your psoriasis. Genital psoriasis can have a significant impact on sex and intimacy.

Psoriasis may impact your relationships, but it doesn't need to control them. Learn how to manage psoriasis—and your relationships.

Talking to others about psoriasis

Don't be afraid to reach out to friends and family when you need support. Most people really want to help you, said Lisa Copen. Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries, which creates support networks and information for the chronically ill. Learn more about talking to others about your disease. Connect with others living with psoriasis on TalkPsoriasis.org »

Dating and psoriasis

There is no perfect time to tell someone you are dating that you have psoriasis. Use your judgment, said Dr. John Koo, a member of the Foundation Medical Board and board-certified in dermatology and psychiatry. If you are dating someone who values you for who you are, instead of what you look like, psoriasis should not be a deal-breaker, he said.

As for covering up, that's entirely up to you. Many people with psoriasis use makeup or strategic use of clothing to give them confidence in social situations. Read makeup tips »

Diane Talbert was 90 percent covered with psoriasis on her first date with Alvin, the man who would eventually become her husband. Read Diane and Alvin's story and their tips for dating with psoriasis »

Psoriasis and sex

Many of the patients who come to see Madelyn Petrow-Cohen are anxious about sex. Petrow-Cohen, a clinical social worker and psychologist with offices in Maplewood, N.J. and New York City, works with many people with psoriasis. Open communication and accepting the ups and downs of having a chronic condition are just a few of the ways you can become more comfortable with intimacy.

Genital psoriasis can interfere with a romantic relationship. However, genital psoriasis usually does not interfere with sexual function. Get the facts about genital psoriasis and how to treat it »