Does your skin condition impact on your relationships? You’re not alone.
Thursday February 14, 2019 by
A recent survey carried out by QV Skincare revealed that 32% of people with a skin condition said that it had a negative impact on their personal relationships.
Whether this is between parents and children, couples or friendships, chronic dermatological conditions such as eczema or psoriasis can have a devastating effect on a person’s physical and psychological well-being and the relationships they have with the people around them.
Joanne previously spoke to QV to explain how the onset of severe psoriasis, caused by a car accident in 2000, affected her relationships:
“I’d make sure that I was getting changed in a separate room to my partner and would hoover up the skin that I had shed. It really affected my relationships and sex life and it’s the main reason I chose not to have another baby, as I felt disgusting and ashamed in front of my partner.
“There have been days where I’ve just wanted to stay in bed and forget about my condition. I’ve even missed out on doing things with my daughter such as going swimming.”
The emotional trauma of living with a skin condition can take its toll on mental health, therefore, it’s unsurprising some find it difficult to make and maintain relationships.
Common psychological issues which people can experience when living with a skin condition include anxiety, low self-esteem, embarrassment and social isolation. This isn’t necessarily down to the skin condition, but more to do with how people can and have reacted to somebody’s condition.
Joanne added: “People can be cruel too - a few years ago, in Next, two ladies whispered ‘ewww’ at my legs because I was wearing shorts - I was so embarrassed.”
Coping methods, amount of sleep and previous social experiences can all play a part in how a skin condition can affect somebody’s mental health.
Talking to somebody can also help you to cope with your skin condition emotionally. Online patient support groups are a great way of communicating with like-minded people who are having similar experiences to you. The National Eczema Society offer regional support networks which give people with the condition the chance to share information and support each other.
As well as being able to find ways to treat the physical side of her psoriasis, Joanne has also found a way of managing the emotional side of her skin condition by attending Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). She added: “My skin condition was making me shut out my family and friends. I was embarrassed and felt like this was something that was just my problem.
“CBT has really changed my life. It’s made me realise that once you let psoriasis dominate your life it can take hold of you, it’s really important to not let the skin condition take control. Psoriasis can be managed, don’t let it dictate your life, like I let it do to me for so long.”
If you need further support with your emotional wellbeing, mental health charity MIND can help you to find the support you need. Visit www.mind.org.uk, call the Mind Infoline on 0300 123 3393 or send a text to 86463. Keep up to date with our latest blogs here: http://www.qvskincare.co.uk/blogs/
 APPG, The psychological and social impact of skin diseases on people’s lives (Internet) 2013 (citied 2019 January 14) Available from: https://www.appgs.co.uk/publication/view/the-psychological-and-social-impact-of-skin-diseases-on-peoples-lives-fin