According to a survey conducted by the National Psoriasis Foundation, 35 percent of people with psoriasis say they’ve limited dating or intimate interactions because of their skin condition.
We humans are a social bunch. Meeting new people, especially someone you’ll eventually have to bare all to — physically and emotionally — is a daunting task in and of itself.
Dating is all about confidence. For some, the outward signs of psoriasis, however, can have a special way of messing with your game.
During my years of dating, it was inevitable that my skin would be an issue at some point. Some had insensitive reactions, but the woman who would become my wife has never made me feel uncomfortable about my psoriasis, even when she drags me to the beach.
Here are some things to keep in mind when dating with psoriasis.
Dating is stressful enough, so you don’t need a few little blemishes ruining a good time. And as we all know, stress is often a trigger for outbreaks.
The more you allow yourself to be yourself, the more your date will see the real you, not merely your exterior.
Yes, it’s easier said than done, but taking a few deep breaths can do wonders. Give it a shot right now. Feeling better already, aren’t you?
2. Take Care of Yourself
Psoriasis isn’t a condition that will go away if you ignore it. Living a healthy lifestyle can work wonders.
If you’re not doing it already, start exercising. Not only will it make you physically healthier — which will help boost your confidence — but it’s also a great way to beat stress.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, eat a sensible diet, lay off the booze and smoking, and make sure you get enough sleep. All of these things will help you feel physically better, which will increase your chances in the dating pool.
3. Own Your Condition
There’s only one way to address the scaly pink elephant in the room, and that’s talking about it.
If you notice your date glancing at any visible patches or scales, explain what it is. Since it’s a fairly common condition, your date may already know something about it. If he or she doesn’t, just simply explain that it’s an autoimmune disorder that causes your body to overproduce skin cells.
Psoriasis is part of your life, but it doesn’t have to control it, especially when you’re seeking someone to share that life with.
4. Use Humor
Humor is the best way to diffuse any tricky situations, including if your date feels a bit uncomfortable. Everyone, or at least anyone who’s worth your time, loves to laugh.
But what’s funny about psoriasis? Well, being a human snowmaking machine and having the healing factor of Wolverine is pretty funny. So is having at least one thing in common with Kim Kardashian, Art Garfunkel, and Jon Lovitz.
That’s certainly some interesting company.
5. Get to Sex When You’re Comfortable
It’s going to happen sooner or later, or at least that’s the intention. Sex should be fun for everyone involved, so if you’re concerned about how your date would react to seeing your skin, maybe it’s not quite time yet.
That doesn’t mean that you should swear off intercourse because you’re self-conscious. Just don’t feel compelled to get into bed with someone unless you know your skin won’t be an issue.
6. Try Some Psoriasis-Specific Dating Sites
There are dating sites specific to anything, including psoriasis.
Psoriasis Singles is a free service for people who are looking to meet potential soulmates who share the condition. DermaDate is another free singles site for people with noticeable skin conditions, including psoriasis. Other mainstream dating sites like OKCupid have sections for people with psoriasis.
If hanging out in bars and chatting up whoever comes in isn’t your thing, give them a try.
7. Don’t Settle
Don’t be with someone who makes you uncomfortable in your own skin.
Psoriasis is a condition that can be treated, but there isn’t a cure. None of those things are your fault. Your significant other should recognize this and be supportive of you.
If someone cracks bad jokes or makes you feel bad about something you can’t control, shed them away like a patch of dried up skin.
This article is a favorite of the following psoriasis advocates: Nitika Chopra,Alisha Bridges, andJoni Kazantzis