7 Ways to Overcome Psoriasis Frustration

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Evelyn Creekmore on October 13, 2022
  • Man staring at cell phone with look of disappointment
    Coping with Psoriasis and Emotions
    The plaques and scales that the chronic skin condition psoriasis causes can hamper people physically, socially, psychologically and emotionally. The overall impact on quality of life can be intense, especially if psoriasis patches are in hard-to-treat areas. These include the scalp, face, nails, hands, feet and genitals. It’s normal to experience a range of emotions when you’re living with psoriasis, from embarrassment and anxiety to anger and depression. Get tips for managing emotions and feeling better about yourself.
  • Woman in Warrior Yoga Pose
    1. Reduce your stress.
    Research has shown that stress makes psoriasis symptoms worse and reduces quality of life for many people living with psoriasis. You’re more likely to have a stress connection if you’re a woman rather than a man, have a family history of psoriasis, or have severe psoriasis. Look for ways to bust the stress in your life. Consider trying relaxation techniques like meditation, guided imagery, yoga, and tai chi.
  • Young man sleeping in bed at home
    2. Get enough sleep.
    Is it hard for you to fall asleep? Do you wake up and not feel rested? Many people living with psoriasis have poor quality sleep, and the condition increases your risk of developing sleep disorders. These include obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which stops breathing during sleep, and restless leg syndrome (RLS), which compels people to move their legs. Sleep problems worsen psoriasis symptoms, increase stress, and make it harder to cope. Ask your doctor about talking with a sleep specialist.
  • woman takes fresh organic vegetables
    3. Address your diet.
    Doctors typically encourage people with psoriasis to adopt an “anti-inflammatory” diet heavy in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains–and light on processed foods, saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates. This is generally good advice for anyone who wants to be healthier and feel better. For those with psoriasis, it’s worth exploring the intersection of food, symptoms and mood with a registered dietitian.
  • Woman on exercise bike out of breath
    4. Work in some exercise.
    Exercise is a great way to lower your stress level, reduce anxiety and depression, and maintain a healthy weight. Psoriasis symptoms tend to be worse for people who are obese than for those who have a body mass index, or BMI, in the normal range. Talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program and discontinue any exercise you find painful. Your doctor can adjust your program so you get the mental, emotional and physical benefits without hurting yourself.
  • Young Caucasian woman talking to counselor in office
    5. Find a quality counselor.
    When you’re living with psoriasis, it’s important to ask for help managing your chronic condition. Counseling comes in many forms such as talking with your doctor, receiving patient education, and seeing a mental health specialist. Talk with your doctor about the best ways to incorporate counseling into your treatment plan. Everyone with psoriasis is different, and your counseling should be personalized based on your psoriasis symptoms, emotional reactions, overall health, and other medical conditions.
  • Two female Caucasian friends smiling and hiking outdoors
    6. Join a community.
    What if you could talk with other people who really get how psoriasis makes you feel, without fear or judgment? You can—online and off. Ask your doctor to recommend a psoriasis community grounded in encouragement, positive thinking, and sharing legitimate information. Many people living with psoriasis also benefit from joining an organization such as the National Psoriasis Foundation, which keeps them up to date on psoriasis research and news and provides ongoing resources, tips, and tools.
  • Group of Women Eating Out
    7. Surround yourself with support.
    Living with psoriasis can be lonely. Take a moment to look around. Support is not only available from medical professionals and others living with psoriasis, but also from friends and family members. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. Studies have shown talking about psoriasis with people you trust and teaching others it’s not contagious improves depression and enhances quality of life. Some experts believe interacting proactively helps because it puts you in control—not your psoriasis.
Overcoming Psoriasis Frustration | Psoriasis Management

About The Author

Evelyn Creekmore has more than 15 years of experience writing online educational health content, including nearly 10 years full-time at WebMD, where she was the director of brand content. She holds an MPH in Applied Public Health Informatics from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and an MA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
  1. Social coping strategies associated with quality of life decrements among psoriasis patients. National Library of Medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11703288/
  2. Psychological aspects of psoriasis. The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance. https://www.papaa.org/learn-about-psoriasis-and-psoriatic-arthritis/further-resources/psychological-aspects-of-psoriasis/
  3. Manifestations and Management of Difficult-to-Treat Psoriasis. Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association. https://journals.lww.com/jdnaonline/fulltext/2018/07000/manifestations_and_management_of.2.aspx
  4. General measures and quality of life issues in psoriasis. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5134161/
  5. Psychological distress and coping strategies in patients with psoriasis: the PSYCHAE Study. National Library of Medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17894699/
  6. The help you need to best manage your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/
  7. The link between skin and psychology. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/02/cover-skin
  8. Psoriasis and sleep disorders: a systematic review. National Library of Medicine National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26624228/
  9. Influence of stress on the development of psoriasis. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ced.14105
  10. Healthy Diet and Other Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Psoriasis. American Academy of Dermatology Association. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/insider/diet
  11. Talk Psoriasis—My Psoriasis Team. National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/talk-psoriasis/
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Last Review Date: 2021 Jan 20
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