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Living with psoriasis can be tough. Not just for the person with the condition, but for their loved ones.
Knowing how to support a partner with psoriasis can be tricky as you don’t want to cause any unnecessary upset or say / do the wrong thing.
If you want to help your partner with psoriasis, below I share some tips on how you can easily do just that and how my partner provides support to me.
Learn about psoriasis
You don’t need to know everything about psoriasis but learning the basics about the condition is a good start! If your partner has had psoriasis their whole life or has just been diagnosed it’s important that you really know about their psoriasis. Know what their symptoms are, do they have anything that can cause a flare, what side effects of psoriasis do they have and most importantly, do they take any medication for their psoriasis.
Please also be sensitive to how your remarks about their psoriasis may make your partner feel. The more you understand about psoriasis and the better informed you are, the easier it will be to offer assistance and help your partner cope with flare-ups.
The best thing my partner does for me is knowing about psoriasis, how it affects me individually and what to do during a flare-up. By having this knowledge, I know that if I flare whilst staying at his house I will still be comfortable. For extra help, he even insisted on keeping extra creams at his house just in case I have a flare-up and haven’t packed them. Little things like this can really help as psoriasis flare ups can be unpredictable.
Be supportive and positive, but not pushy
When people are diagnosed with psoriasis, they can start to isolate themselves and hide away from life. If you can, try and stop this from happening. Encourage your partner to talk to their doctor, stay connected with friends and not to cancel plans to ensure that they keep doing the things they love.
However, you need to be gentle with this support and encouragement. If you try to force your partner to do things that they aren’t ready or up for doing, they could retreat into themselves even more or potentially become anxious and upset. This this is of course something that you want to avoid.
My partner often will suggest we go for a quick walk around the block or even just sit outside if I am not feeling up to doing anything. These little motivators are great and sometimes just moving from sitting on the sofa to sitting in a nice garden can lift my mood. It might not sound like much but at least I am getting fresh air.
Be open and honest
Communication is so important between you and your partner, especially if your partner has a chronic condition like psoriasis.
It can be hard to know if your partner needs space or a huge supportive hug. Asking your partner what they need and how best you can support them is key to knowing what they need in that moment. If you guess, you might guess wrong and make everything a whole lot worse.
Sometimes, your partner might just need someone to listen to them. Even if you don’t give them any advice, your partner will appreciate patient listening as much as anything else. There have been many times where I have just needed to rant about my condition and what I hate about it. I don’t need any advice but knowing that my partner is there to listen to my rants and give me a cuddle afterwards is the best and most supportive thing he can do during those times.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition. Those diagnosed with it may endure flare-ups throughout their life. It can be unpredictable and frustrating, but supporting your partner will make it easier for them to cope knowing they have someone by their side and on their team.
UK/IE MAT-23449 Date of preparation: March 2019
Article developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.