Tips for teenagers

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The changes that occur in your body during teenage life are stressful enough. When you have psoriasis, they can seem many times worse. Any form of skin disease can cause distress. It is only natural to feel embarrassed if you have visible symptoms.

Loss of confidence and self-esteem can make you feel unattractive and have a negative effect on your life. Unfortunately, the more you worry about your skin, the worse you will feel. Although stress does not cause psoriasis, it can trigger a flare-up.

Looking after your skin

Regularly use emollient (softening) creams and bath additives. These help to keep moisture in your skin so it stays smooth and supple
Use your treatment creams regularly as prescribed - these will usually show a good result within 3 to 6 weeks but may be tried for up to 3 months before you notice a response. Feel the treated area with your fingers and continue the treatment that is applied to the skin until the skin feels entirely smooth and normal. Any staining (such as from using dithranol) will clear within two weeks of stopping treatment
If you have been given tablets to treat severe psoriasis, use these regularly as prescribed. But disease-modifying drugs may take several weeks or months to show a good result.
If you feel your treatment is not working, don’t be afraid to see your doctor for advice. Don’t just stop your treatments because you feel they are useless.

Tips to help you cope

  • Remember that 1 in 50 people have psoriasis, so you are not alone;
  • Don’t stop doing the things you enjoy, like sport. Be positive
  • Reach out to people and life - don’t withdraw and try to hide
  • Aim to keep learning new skills and broadening your horizons
  • Try not to take rejections personally. If others discriminate against you, it is through their lack of knowledge - and fear
  • Use your experience to understand other people’s problems and help them through difficult times
  • Camouflage cream can help to damp down the redness of psoriasis so it is less noticeable. Many creams are available on prescription. For information and help, contact the Cosmetic Camouflage volunteer of your local British Red Cross - their number is in the phonebook. This service is available for men and women
  • Learn more about your condition.

© PAPAA 2008