Teasing.Physical violence.Staring.Social isolation.Name-calling.
Many of our members with psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune condition that can produce red, scaly patches and other skin symptoms, report experiencing various forms of bullying while growing up. One relays the story of a teacher who repeatedly sent her to the nurse’s office, assuming that she had a contagious condition. Another recalls receiving notes in her locker informing her that she was not welcome in gym class or study group. And yet another shares that her classmates spread sexual rumors that her psoriasis was really rug burn and voted her most likely to get pregnant in high school.
These are just a few heart-wrenching examples of the stigma, ignorance and misinformation that often surround psoriasis, which is not contagious. For these members, the bullying they encountered growing up often had a major psychological impact that included hurt feelings, self-consciousness, depression, anger, loneliness and dating difficulties. Some report that it ultimately made them stronger, however. Have you been mistreated as a result of your psoriasis? Share your stories with others who can truly relate in PatientsLikeMe’s growing psoriasis community, which now has more than 5,000 members.
Also, find answers and take control of your psoriasis care plan by learning from PatientsLikeMe members’ treatment evaluations and seasonal survey answers as well as our ongoing dermatologist interview series, which delves into investigational psoriasis treatments currently in clinical trials and other psoriasis treatment trends. Stay tuned to the blog for another dermatologist interview very soon!