Psoriasis Insights

A Guide to Dating With Psoriasis

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Dating is rarely easy for anyone. But when you live with a disfiguring skin disease like psoriasis, you have another layer of anxiety to add to the everyday stresses of finding a partner. For many people living with the condition, insecurities about their appearance and fear of rejection get in the way of romance. But having psoriasis doesnt have to prevent you from finding your happily ever after—and in some ways, it might even help.

How to break the news
Unlike sexually transmitted diseases, psoriasis is not contagious. But as with STDs, most people want to explain psoriasis to people they're dating so that they're prepared when they see it and understand they can't catch it. That's tricky, because you may fear that telling the truth is a one-way ticket to rejection.

“The common question people ask is, will my condition be the deal-breaker?” says Allan F. Chino, PhD, a psychologist in private practice with Functional Pain Solutions in Tigard, Ore., and an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. “If it is," says Chino, "its a sign that the relationship wasnt meant to be.” In that way, the disease serves almost as a litmus test for future mates by separating the good from the bad right out of the gate.

5 Ways to Handle Stigma
How to educate others and live with dignity  Read more
At least that's the way Victoria Gardner Nye, 35, from Cambridge, Mass., sees it. “When I was dating, before I got married, my psoriasis had to come up right away for me because it was on my hands, face, and neck,” says Gardner Nye. “I was lucky enough to have that as an ice-breaker to see how the person felt about it right away.”

If clothing covers your lesions, you have a little more time to broach the topic. Here's how to do it when you're ready.

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Lead writer: Nick Burns
Last Updated: October 01, 2008

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