This content reflects the views of the individual blogger and is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
Psoriasis can pose some challenges in the workplace. If your psoriasis is visible then it can be difficult to hide from coworkers and if your psoriasis is not visible, having to take time off work for appointments or taking medication during work time can bring challenges, especially if you want to keep your psoriasis private.
I have been lucky in my career that my bosses and workplace have always been very understanding and accepting of my condition, however, I know that isn’t the case for everyone. Sharing that you have psoriasis is very personal to each individual and telling people can be a scary experience.
In this post, I will share my experience of coping with psoriasis in the workplace and pass on some advice that may help you:
1. Talk to your boss
You might want to keep your psoriasis condition a secret from your co-workers, but telling your boss allows them to understand the need for time away from work or time off work to attend vital hospital or doctor appointments.
Deciding if and when or even how to discuss your psoriasis with your employer isn’t an easy decision. You and only you can make this decision. If you do decided to tell your boss, make sure that you educate them on psoriasis and the fact that it is an immune-mediated disease. Not all bosses will understand the condition or the severity it can have.
This will help your boss understand you and know more about you. Remember, psoriasis is more than just a skin condition. It is an immune-mediated disease that effects many aspects of your body including your mental health. Immense stress from work can worsen psoriasis.
If your boss has a better understanding of this, it will help with workload and not having to stress over hiding your condition from everyone. Educating others about psoriasis can also relieve the stress that you may be feeling.
2. Set priorities in work
One of the major side effects of psoriasis is fatigue. If I am having a flare up, I know that by mid afternoon most days I am going to be tired. Top combat this, I have a to-do list at work with the most important priorities at the top of the list.
Doing this allows me to get what I need to do done first thing in the morning. Then, if I later run out of energy later in the day, I can do tasks that take less energy or I don’t have to worry if less-urgent items aren’t completed that day.
3. Stay positive
If you are having a particularly bad flare up day, then try and think positive thoughts. Don’t push yourself too much, pace yourself throughout the workday, and try to think about something other than your psoriasis (the toughest tip here, I know).
Reward yourself for finishing tasks and take short breaks if you need to. Make sure you talk to your boss if you feel the need to. If you are having a bad day, telling them can ensure they don’t pile on pressure or add stress that you don’t need and might make things worse - I find that this really works for me!
4. Have a holistic plan
I have written about how to create a holistic plan before. You can read the full article here.
Having a holistic plan allows you to find ways to beat any stress you are under, or knowing how to stay motivated even when you are having a bad flare up can help.
Knowing how to combat both of these will help at work, especially if you are under a lot of pressure and don’t want to tell your boss.
A holistic plan is something I would really consider for anyone with psoriasis to go alongside their medical plan. Having a holistic plan has helped me so many times in and out of work. It has allowed me to take a second, relax and ensure that I am looking after myself in every way during times of stress and pressure.
I hope that the information in this blog helps you deal with psoriasis in the workplace.
UK/IE MAT-22036 Date of preparation: December 2018
Article developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.