Psoriasis and your self-esteem

If you have the chronic skin condition psoriasis, you might struggle with your self-confidence.

The redness, scaling and flaky skin associated with psoriasis can be difficult to mask and might make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. You might worry that people are looking at your skin or avoiding physical contact with you out of a false fear that your condition is contagious. Research also shows that people with psoriasis struggle with anxiety over their appearance and are at increased risk of depression.

To avoid these complications, consider these tips to improve your self-esteem and ease depression as you manage your psoriasis.

Empower yourself

Psoriasis can cause discomfort and embarrassment. To feel more comfortable and confident:

  • Educate yourself about psoriasis, your triggers and your treatment options. Share what you learn with family and friends.
  • Work with your doctor to determine your treatment plan and follow it.
  • Join a support group for people with psoriasis. You might find comfort in sharing your struggles and meeting people who face similar challenges.

Support your mental health

While there's no sure way to prevent depression, certain strategies might help as you manage your psoriasis. For example:

  • Take steps to control stress through activities such as meditation, exercise and deep breathing.
  • Reach out to family and friends when you are in need. It might help to share your feelings and concerns with trusted loved ones.
  • Seek treatment for depression at the earliest sign of a problem.

Taking care of yourself can also promote your mental health. Get regular exercise and plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet and avoid tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs.

Use cover-up when necessary

If you're feeling self-conscious about your psoriasis, consider using makeup to conceal affected areas. To apply:

  • Prepare your skin. Wash your skin with a gentle cleanser. Try to remove any flakes. Apply moisturizer and then primer, a base layer to help makeup go on smoothly and stay put.
  • Choose your foundation. If your skin is very red, opt for a color-correcting foundation in a yellow or green hue. For affected skin with only mild discoloration, use a cream or liquid foundation that matches your natural skin tone. Apply the foundation evenly, blending it in to smooth out the edges around areas with psoriasis.
  • Finish with powder. Use a brush to apply pressed powder over foundation and set it. Test the powder on a small area of skin first to make sure it doesn't cause irritation.
  • Avoid cosmetics that add shine and sparkle. Steer clear of cosmetics that contain glitter and highlighters. These can be irritating to your skin and draw attention to areas you want to camouflage.

If psoriasis is taking a toll on your self-esteem, talk to your health care provider. He or she might have more tips to help you cope or recommend that you see a mental health provider.

Jan. 03, 2019 See more In-depth

See also

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  2. 6 ways to manage itchy skin when you have psoriasis
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  6. Dry skin
  7. Ease stress to reduce your psoriasis flares
  8. Exercising with arthritis
  9. Ground flaxseed
  10. Gluten sensitivity and psoriasis: What's the connection?
  11. How to heal cracked heels
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  13. Is the Mediterranean diet good for psoriasis?
  14. Living better with psoriasis
  15. Psoriasis-related health risks
  16. Mayo Clinic Minute: Fingernails are clues to your health
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  18. Photodynamic therapy
  19. Prednisone risks, benefits
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  23. Psoriasis and intimacy
  24. Identifying psoriasis triggers
  25. Psoriasis: Get the most out of your treatment
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  27. Psoriasis treatment options
  28. Psoriasis: What if I get psoriatic arthritis, too?
  29. Psoriasis: What to share with your doctor
  30. Relaxation techniques
  31. Scalp psoriasis vs. seborrheic dermatitis
  32. Skin biopsy
  33. Skin care tips
  34. Skip flavored lip balm
  35. How to trim thickened toenails
  36. Slide show: 5 ways to thrive with psoriasis through the holidays
  37. Slide show: Caring for your skin when you have psoriasis
  38. Hand exercises for people with arthritis
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  40. Types of psoriasis
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  43. Ward off dry skin
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  46. What's the best way to manage scalp psoriasis?
  47. White patch on skin: A cause for concern?