Ask the Experts: Dating Tips and More

Question: Next week I’m going on a date with a woman I met online. I told her about my psoriasis—but having her actually see the patches on my arms makes me nervous. I think I really like her. Suggestions?

Answer: The good thing is, you’ve already told her about your psoriasis, so rather than hide any patches with long sleeves, let them show. The more comfortable you feel about it, the less taboo the topic will seem, and that can open the door to a frank, natural discussion. If you hit it off and she has questions, you might consider taking her to your next dermatologist exam. And here’s a little unsolicited “Mom” advice: If she’s worth having in your life, she’ll deal gracefully with your skin issue. If she doesn’t, she may not be worth hanging on to! For more help, check out the National Psoriasis Foundation. They have a Facebook page, message boards, discussion groups and journals.
 —Lisa A. Pawelski, MD, Dermatologic Care, Inc., Pittsburgh

Question: I’m starting a new job next week and I’m not looking forward to the stares and questions about my skin. Ideas for how to fend ’em off?


Answer: Why not take a proactive approach? When you’re feeling at ease and the time seems right, broach the topic in an open way. Try: “In case you’ve noticed the marks on my skin, it’s just psoriasis, and don’t worry, it’s not catching!” Chances are, your co-workers will be understanding. Not up to it? Talk to your boss privately. Say, “If anyone has any questions and does not feel comfortable asking me, here is the situation...” Remember, as long as you feel comfortable, there’s no wrong way to handle this situation. Good luck with your new job!
—Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University, New York City

Question: Every time I get together with a certain friend, she leans over and, in a serious voice, asks, “How are you feeling?” (I have psoriatic arthritis.) While I know she means well, I’m a bit tired of constantly being reminded of my health problems. How can I put an end to the questions—nicely?


Answer: Next time your friend asks, say: “I really appreciate your checking up on me; it lets me know you care. But the truth is, it makes me feel a little self-conscious. If you don’t mind, I’d rather let you know if something’s going on or if I need any help.” That way, you’ll politely acknowledge her concern, while making her think twice before asking again in the future.
—Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD

Published August 2011

Causes & Risk Factors
Your Healthcare Team
Questions to Ask
    Your Doctor

Quiz: How Severe
    is Your Psoriasis?

Never Tried a Biologic?
What Your Dermatologist
    Needs to Know

Topical Treatments
Phototherapy Treatments

Body-Wide Medications
When Your Treatment is Denied
    by Your Insurance Company

Look Your Best With Psoriasis!
Feel Your Best With Psoriasis
Your Answer to Smoother, Clearer Skin—Found!
Take Charge of Your Psoriasis and Protect
    Your Whole Body!

Try These Simple Skin-Care Tips
Quiz: Test Your Psoriasis Smarts
Simple Ways to Better Your Life
Ask the Experts: Dating Tips and More
Let Summer Soothe Your Psoriasis
Lifestyle Adjustments to Help Ease Psoriasis

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